The Dog’s in the Car

“The Dog’s in the Car” Mum shouts from upstairs. Dad’s 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 he’s in the car, comes into the house and proceeds to think that he has lost him.

My Dad, Tony, suffers from an illness called hydrocephalus, which causes him to build up too much fluid in the brain. About 25 years ago, he went in for an operation to put a hole in his head that would allow the liquid to drain easier. However, during that operation his short-term memory was accidentally damaged, permanently leaving him with a unique difficulty with short-term memory.

I began working on this story in 2018, as an interview project through videoing conversations between Dad and our family, capturing how his short-term memory affects his daily life. These became the foundation and primary research of this project, as it led me to realise the importance in the humour projected from my Dad, his charm and strong spirit despite illness. Therefore, I decided to restart this project as a photographic collaboration, with lightness at its core, and capturing the space between us. We use a playful tone through visualising memories and notions of familial care. The project discusses a father-daughter relationship, intimacy, and how one family deals with illness and identity.

Tami Aftab

Tami Aftab is a London born and based photographer, who graduated this year with a First Class Honours from London College of Communication in BA Photography. Aftab’s work touches on subjects of intimacy and performance, her portraiture has an underlying nature of playfulness that captures identities and narratives.
Aftab was recently awarded the Women Photograph x Getty scholarship, and her project The Dog’s in the Car has been featured in The Washington Post, Der Grief, Format Festival, Splash & Grab and Booooooom. Alongside this, she has undertaken commissions from Port Magazine, Refinery29, Notion, British Lung Foundation and more. Over three weeks in June, Aftab co-curated and managed Three Men Make a Tiger’s virtual photo festival that consisted of talks, roundtables, workshops and takeovers with 25 names from the industry.