Timothy Archibald started photographing his autistic son Elijah when he was 5 years old. His aim was to document the often bizarre and incomprehensible world of his son but the project developed into much more.
Elijah has a need for repetition, loves mechanical objects and is socially withdrawn and Timothy set out to document these often annoying habits and rituals. However, over time Elijah became more involved in the process and helped setup and organise locations and poses.
“According to Timothy, his project Echolilia helped him understand the situation, his role as father, but most importantly, to accept his own son’s differences. Those habits that first drove him nuts completely changed through his photos. In Echolilia, father and son create their own visual language, thanks to which they can communicate with each other even when there are no words they both can understand. In fact, Elijah receives positive attention for his rituals, can share something with his dad, and has even started to take his own photos.”