The suburban city of Tamarac is about to celebrate its 50th year on July 19th, and to coincide with the city's anniversary, resident and photographer Susan Buzzi decided to put together an exhibition profiling some of the area's cancer survivors.
The collection Focus on Tamarac: The Faces of Cancer, features large-format photographs that don't simply capture the faces of patients, but all of those involved in the recovery process. The 50-piece collection documents shots of Tamarac-based doctors, social workers, nurses, a vegan chef, Mayor Beth Flansbaum-Talabisco, BSO officials, and the survivors' respective family members.
For six years Buzzi has been shooting similar projects around South Florida working closely with survivors, so when she heard about Tamarac's upcoming anniversary she sought to contribute to her city in her own personal way. "I thought this would stand for solidarity for the community," she says. "Here we are -- a city of vision. We try to promote wellness and great parks, so I thought this would be a grand look at who we are and where we are going."
One aspect of this series highlights how cancer doesn't discriminate: A 19-year-old woman to an 80-year-old man are seen in Buzzi's work.
"This exhibition has a different dynamic than the others I have done," she explains. "Tamarac is my city and my work has evolved into a comprehensive look at the cancer journey in its entirety from traditional protocols to alternative treatments."
Buzzi, once awarded Woman of the Year by the American Cancer Society, is a committed advocate who through her artistic passion and care for her subjects keeps close ties with the individuals she photographs. In her other projects, Buzzi is known to follow her models in the surgery room and treatment centers, documenting the process while offering comfort and friendship.
In early 2012, Buzzi launched a book "I Am A Strong Woman," which chronicles five years worth of her work profiling breast cancer survivors.
"I have had the distinct honor of being witness with my lens to extraordinary courage, resilience and hope."
Focus on Tamarac: Faces of Cancer is on view at the Tamarac Community Center through July. Visit tamarac.org for more information.