Stretto in vita

By Sara Dalla Rosa

Recognizing that you need help is the first step towards healing, but often the hardest to do. ‘Stretto in vita’ is a project that, through the use of a belt that turns into a ‘linea della vita’, shows how long people suffering from anorexia nervosa are turning to doctors and experts in order to heal.

Featured image of the project Stretto in vita Complementary image of the project Stretto in vita Complementary image of the project Stretto in vita Complementary image of the project Stretto in vita

Metaphor used:

The temporal dimension is the element I want to focus the attention on. To represent it, I decided to use an object of daily use: the belt, an accessory normally used to hold clothing items such as trousers and skirts. Often the addition of holes on it reflects the changes in weight (weight loss) of the wearer. In the project it is transformed into a timeline identifying itself as a ‘line of life’ with the intent of representing a period of time that goes from the beginning of the disease. Through the use of a punching machine 36 holes were drilled all at the same distance, which ideally represents one month. Regarding the number of people who answered the online survey, each one is metaphorically represented through the negative (remaining part) of a hole.

Intended Meaning:

Often the sources that deal with the theme ‘eating disorders’ report data on the number of admissions or deaths, omitting the information on what precedes these events. On the contrary, with this project I want to put the observer’s attention on a psychological aspect of the pathology: the difficulty inadmitting to having a problem and therefore the consequent need to contact someone else to be helped. The very title of the project ‘Stretto in vita’ has a double meaning, on the one hand the verb ‘stringere’ understood as - ridursi di dimensioni, restringersi - which represents the physical dimension of the object that narrows with the passage of time, index of weight loss, on the other hand in its meaning of - avvinghiarsi, aggrapparsi - reflects the desire not to let go and struggle to regain possession of one’s own life.


Share of time taken to seek help for anorexia nervosa in the United Kingdom