Photo by Tami Aftab

The Dog’s in the Car

In her project The Dog’s in the Car Tami Aftab uses a playful voice to question what she describes as the hushed tones that can surround illness, questions on collaboration and consent, family as subject and the space between documentary and performance.

Ultimately, she explains, it is a story about a father-daughter relationship, and how one family controls their lives dictated by illness and identity.

“The dog’s in the car” Mum shouts from upstairs. My dad, Tony, has been running around the house, in and out of the garden thinking that he has lost Rudi, our dog. This is a common occurrence, where Dad drives back from a dog walk, forgets the dog’s in the car, comes in to the house and proceeds to think that he has lost him.

My dad, Tony, suffers with hydrocephalus, which is an abnormal build-up of cerebral fluid in the ventricles of the brain. Around 25 years ago during an endoscopic third ventriculostomy, an operation to bypass blockages, an internal bleed occurred which permanently damaged his short term memory.

The Dog’s in the Car by Tami Aftab is the winner of the Open Call FORMAT21 – Spectrum Imaging Award.