"Regarding autism, France has been experiencing a particularly turbulent period for a few years. Although we can see clear progress today in the care of children with autism and a real advance on diagnoses, the situation remains catastrophic from an institutional point of view. Since the movie 'Rain Man', the general public often equates autism with Asperger syndrome. The media take this image by a spectacular aspect: famous eccentric scientists, incredible mathematicians or musicians. Albert Einstein, Glenn Gould and Bill Gates are autistic Aspergers. But for those who are invisible, the media represent them as 'mental deficient'. 'Autistan' is a land of great unattainable desert. Prisoners of their silence, these children are hard to meet and educate. Communication is unique for every child – many are speechless – there are no manuel to enter their own world. This particular childhood is true, brute, savage. They swing between presence and absence, pure sweetness and ultra violence. The idea is to find a gateway with every kids, they only open the door if they want to. In 2012, Lionel JUSSERET started photographing autistic children after two years spent as an educator at the association J'interviendrais, which offers profoundly autistic children the opportunity to live in a group vacation in different country houses. It took him seven years to gather these portraits, because the physical and psychological exhaustion generated by such an accompaniment did not allow him to work for more than two consecutive weeks.
This photo volume, 'Kinderszenen. Treize scènes d'enfants' by Lionel JUSSERET gives a glimpse of the intimacy of autistic children, their way of apprehending space and the world. It paints a portrait of so-called 'autistic' children in the interlude of their vacations in the countryside. Far from the violence of the walls, this work is a dreamlike and mysterious journey, sometimes naive, which lets you discover the enigma of these 'kids'. The photo volume is based on the division and titles of the 13 chapters of 'Kinderszenen', the famous piano work by Robert Schumann, who said that it was conceived by a 'great child' as a 'souvenir for people who have grown up'. 'Kinderszenen: Treize scènes d'enfants' began strongly with David, 'nomadic' child returned from mental institutions. 'Incurable, unbearable, unlivable' experts said about him. He reached eighteen years but always seemed to have only four. A year later, no more news from David. One of the private Belgian mental hospital, where hundred of children are exported every year and kind of disappear between their walls, remained quiet. David was gone. He left behind him traces of violence and memories of laugh and tears. And a picture also." (© Loco, 2020)