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  • Jeanie, Will and Adina are three senior citizens

  • connected by a special relationship.

  • They view their bond as a shield from the loneliness of aging.

  • I first met them at a retirement home in Los Angeles,

  • where I had been photographing for three years.

  • I saw as they approached the gate one night,

  • and felt an immediate connection to them.

  • Although I didn't know the details of their love triangle,

  • I intuitively felt that I had to find out who they were.

  • Questioning a nurse a day later, she said to me,

  • "Oh, you're talking about the threesome."

  • (Laughter)

  • I was intrigued.

  • (Laughter)

  • The trio set out on a daily adventure to coffee and doughnut shops,

  • bus stops and street corners.

  • I soon learned that the purpose of these outings was solace

  • and a search for meaning.

  • The trio sought to combat their alienation

  • by literally integrating themselves in public streets.

  • Yet, even when arm in arm, no one saw them.

  • We often think that as we age, we lose the desires held in our youth.

  • Actually, as a teenage photojournalist when I met the trio,

  • I saw their behavior as a mirror

  • to the fears of exclusion and desires for intimacy

  • that I also carried.

  • I related to their invisibility,

  • which pained me during my childhood

  • but has become my greatest asset as an immersive documentarian,

  • because I can just fade into my empathy.

  • As we walked down the streets of Hollywood,

  • in a neighborhood of screenwriters, actors and filmmakers,

  • the trio assumed the invisibility that each senior does.

  • I would ask myself,

  • "How is it that no one else sees these three human beings?

  • Why is it that I am the only one who sees them?"

  • Years later, as I began to share this work with the public,

  • I noticed that people are largely uncomfortable with this story.

  • Perhaps it is because the trio doesn't assume conventional notions

  • associated with love, romance or partnership.

  • They were unseen in public and shunned by their peers.

  • They wanted to belong somewhere

  • but only seemed to belong with each other.

  • I wanted to belong somewhere, too.

  • And my camera has been a catalyst for me to belong everywhere.

  • But beyond challenging sociocultural norms about the elderly,

  • the trio sheds light on fear of remoteness.

  • At the end of each day, they return to their respective retirement homes.

  • Under the surface of their aloneness,

  • there is a desire for community, for their people.

  • There was a sense that they were each yearning for their tribe,

  • but that comfort comes with compromise,

  • because Will cannot commit to one woman.

  • Sitting with Jeanie one day in her apartment, she said to me,

  • "Sharing Will is a thorn in your side.

  • A relationship between a man and a woman is private.

  • It is a couple, not a trio."

  • My process is to essentially become the people I document

  • by spending years with them as an observer-occupant,

  • to create a safe space, to then become hidden in plain sight.

  • I was about 17 when I met the trio,

  • and I shadowed them for four years.

  • We actually see, in the breakdown of social development,

  • that adolescence and old age look strikingly alike,

  • because both are periods of identity confusion.

  • I identified with the women.

  • But also with Will, who made me aware of the divide in me.

  • The schism that we each often have

  • about what we crave and the actuality of our situation.

  • Before shooting this series,

  • I was also in love with two different people who knew about each other,

  • being the object over which they fought.

  • But I also knew what it was like to be at the base of the triangle,

  • like Jeanie or Adina,

  • asking myself,

  • "Why aren't I enough?"

  • I would look through my viewfinder and see three elderly figures,

  • and it became impossible to deny that regardless of age,

  • we were each in pursuit of filling the proverbial hole through other people.

  • Perhaps the discomfort of looking at Jeanie, Will and Adina's story

  • is truly a reminder that even at the end of life,

  • we may never reach the fantasy we have envisioned for ourselves.

  • Thank you for listening.

  • (Applause)

Jeanie, Will and Adina are three senior citizens

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B1 US TED trio triangle senior invisibility retirement

【TED】Isadora Kosofsky: Intimate photos of a senior love triangle (Intimate photos of a senior love triangle | Isadora Kosofsky)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2018/10/19
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