The Dancey Project

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Cian Oba-Smith is a 21 year old photographer based hailing from London. He is currently in his final year of a photography degree at the University of the West of England in Bristol.
Working almost exclusively on film he has built up a broad portfolio of portraiture and documentary images.

In the summer of 2013 my father was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer of the colon. I spent about 3 and a half weeks throughout July and August in Ireland where he was born and currently lives during which time he recovered from an operation to remove part of his stomach and began to undergo chemotherapy.

As a child we are led to believe that our parents will always be there for us and in a sense you begin to believe that they are somewhat invincible. This perception was shattered when I was told of his diagnosis and I had to come to the very real conclusion that at some point soon there was a possibility that I might lose my father forever.

The images in this project were all shot during my process of coming to terms with this realization and are coupled with the emotions that came to the surface as places and memories formed entirely different meanings as I spent an extended period of time in the environment that I lived in for two years of my childhood.

During my time in Ireland my father told me his parents had always said he was more of a Dancey (his mothers surname) than a Smith (his fathers surname), this phrase became important to me because the history of colon cancer ran through his mothers side of the family and although its original conception had an altogether separate meaning it had developed into something very poignant.

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