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Eating Disorders are not just about food or the desire to be thin,
and they are much more widespread than commonly assumed.

Picture taken by a protagonist. Vienna, 2013.

"It shows the ambivalence of food and eating in general. I think the knifes look very brutal. It's like fighting yourself every time you eat a piece of bread."

Worldwide, up to 70 million individuals suffer from Anorexia, Bulimia or Binge Eating; affected persons are of all genders, appearances and ages. Research confirms that young women and girls in industrialized nations are at the highest risk to be affected.

One out of ten, so the current hypothesis, will experience an eating disorder at least once in their lifetime. Nevertheless, the sources and effects of this illness are still highly stigmatized, discreeted and excluded from societal discourse.

In I want to disappear, 20 young women intimately share their testimonies with the viewer. What does it feel like to be affected? How is this conflict linked to one’s own (sexual) identiy, and why does controlling one’s body help someone to feel “better”, even just for a short time?

Altogether they provide a surprising and confrontative insight into the personal conflicts, ruptures and insecurities which lie at the root of this disease. Very soon, a new perspective is revealed: eating disorders are never a sign of weakness. And one is by no means alone with it.

Mafalda Rakoš

The Book

170 x 215 mm

192 Pages

English: I want to disappear - Approaching Eating Disorders
German: I want to disappear - Essstörungen. Eine Annäherung.

Hardcover with linen cloth and silk screen print
14 pages of text printed on transparent paper

Are you personally affected?
Let me know when checking out and get 17% discount.

The Exhibition

2018 Congress for Eating Disorders - AKH, Vienna (upcoming)

2017 Fotografia Festival - Rome (upcoming)

2017 International Congress for Eating Disorers - Alpbach, AUT (upcoming)

2017 Photobook Phenomenon @ CCCB - Barcelona, ES

2017 Athens Photo Festival - GR

2017 FOCUS photo festival - Mumbai, India

2017 Les nuits de l’image - Musée de l‘Elysée, Lausanne, CH

2017 Circulation(s) Festival for Young European Photography - Paris, F

2016 Rundgang : Art & Photography, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna

2016 „Unfolding Truth - DPF Awardees“ [group] - SLC C.College, SLC

2015 Wednesdayshow - Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna

The Authors

Mafalda Rakoš

A young photographer from Vienna. She also holds a degree in anthropology and currently studies at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.

Elizabeth McGlynn

Originally from London, is an artist, art therapist and lecturer at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, where she is in charge of the department of Art and Social Practise.

Raphael Reichl
Denise Frank

Two young and talented Graphic Designers based in Vienna. Denise normally work on abstract, large-scale paintings, and Raffi just enrolled at Paul Petrischs class for site-specific art.

Harriet Vrana

is an academic psychotherapist and social consultant. She regularily conducts workshops for preventing and stabilizing teenagers who are in touch with eating disorders, and manages the Viennese Center for Woman‘s Health (FEM).

Awards & Publications

Shortlisted : C/O Belin Talents / New Documentary Photography- DE
Shortlisted : Photographvy Grant - US

Winner : The Photobookmarket at Encontros da Imagem, Braga/P
Shortlisted : SCAN Photobooks - Terragona, ESP
Shortlisted : Photobookaward of Royal Society of Photography - London
Shortlisted : Athens Photo Festival Dummy Award - GR

Winner : Eyes On Project Review - Vienna, A


new anorexia patients per 100.000 citizen per year.


new bulimia patients per 100.000 citizen per year.


95 % of those affected by an eating disorder are between 12 and 26 years old.

Prevalence of eating disorders
in young women and girls


of girls between 12 and 18 years in Western Europe are not satisfied with their body proportions.


0,9 % Anorexia Nervosa 0,9 – 1,5% Bulimia Nervosa 1,9 – 3,5% Binge Eating Among female adults in the general population.


have gone on a diet without actually being overweight.

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