Zine Collection: "Absent" by Ana Dria

The cover of Ana Dria's handbound photo book greets the viewer with a multiple image effect applied to an image of model Kylie McLaughlin. Inside lies nineteen images and two poems relating to the experience of depersonalization, a mental disorder in which a person feels detached from their own body. It's a dream-like state without much social awareness, and Ana Dria's zine expresses her personal experiences with the disorder. 15% of proceeds from the sale of this zine will be donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Excerpt from Absent
Model: Kylie McLaughlin
Makeup Artist: Marina Girgis

In addition to collaborating with McLaughlin, Dria recruited Marina Girgis as makeup artist. The trio of artists worked in sync to express the state of mind that comes with feelings of this disorder that Dria's book introduction describes as existing with a "surreal, clouded state of mind." 

In addition to the photos, there are two poems, one written by Zachary Hopgood and the other by Megan Pasnick. In Unhinged, Hopgood describes frantic and aggressive thoughts struggling with a feeling of detachment from self. A few pages laters, Pasnick's Blue Indigo faces a close-up image of McLaughlin with empty eyes in search of a connection more meaningful than eyesight. Pasnick's poem hauntingly describes fleeting moments of self-recognition as her eyes glaze over a rearview mirror.

Hopefully, Ana Dria's book will bring more local awareness on the importance of not sweeping mental health issues under the rug. Dria is currently a UNT student, but she is constantly making art that is personal to her as seen on her Instagram. When someone looks at a fine arts photo, there ought to be a moment of reflection as the viewer articulates a response to the visual before them. Absent is book designed to be experienced slowly without being in a rush to thumb over to the next page. 

This photo zine is hand-bound with eighteen images printed on enhanced matte paper. Visit this link to purchase for $25, and remember: 15% of proceeds will be donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness


Photos by Ana Dria
Header image layout designed by Brittany Keeton