It is purely down to Thomas Ball, who is neither electrosensitive nor has any particular connection with anyone who is, that today’s excellent article by Nicholas Blincoe on electrosensitivity appeared in the Guardian Weekend.
He became interested in the condition a couple of years ago and embarked on a year long project to photograph and interview electrosensitivity sufferers and those who try to help them. Over the year he has recorded over 80 hours of interviews and taken hundreds of pictures, a tiny fraction which you can now see on his website. No one commissioned him to take these photographs or conduct these interviews and, although he did ‘sell’ the idea to the Guardian (we are delighted to say), his fee for the photographs will only have made the tiniest dent in the cost of the project.
So why did he do it? Because, like so many of the people who actually make society tick, he was interested by the condition, felt that electrosensivity sufferers were getting a raw deal and thought that maybe he could do something about it. What would allergy sufferers, electrosensitives and the millions of others in need of help, empathy and understanding do without that generous group of people who give their time and their expertise, and often substantial sums of money, to help establish their cause as ‘real’ and get it recognised by those in power.
So, thank you Thomas – your contribution is hugely appreciated.
Meanwhile, do have a look at the photos on Thomas’ site. I really like the feeling of ‘detachment’ that he has created. Many of us really do look as though we have logged out of the 9-5 world and are not quite sure where we have ended up – which is pretty near what has happened! And check out his blog where he explains a little bit more about the project. And, of course, please do read the article in the Guardian Weekend – although I suggest that you do not venture into the ‘Comment’ section which, as usual with any article to do with electrosensitivity, has attracted all of those whose opinions would probably get them sued if they were expressed attributably! You might also want to have a look at the short film of interviews which accompanies it, a taster for the longer film which Thomas plans to make available on his own site and, hopefully, elsewhere.
This is Thomas’ photograph of Tim Hallam that appeared in the Guardian article. Tim has lined his bedroom with tin foil and silver-netted his window to create himself a Faraday cage to protect himself from his housemates’ and neighbours’ wifi, phones, cordless telephones and fluorescent/low energy lights.