By focusing on the body’s reaction to non-ionizing waves, Nick Somers explores the real and unreal realms of this alleged human vulnerability.
Humans seem to be an exception is a documentary project on the phenomenon of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), a disease which, according to scientific consensus, is not recognized as an existing medical condition. People with EHS claim sensitivity and attribute symptoms to exposure to various sources of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation that humans have introduced into our living environment. Decades of research have already been conducted on the possible side effects of this radiation. Yet, to date, no conclusive evidence of a clear causal relationship between exposure and health problems is deemed to have been found. EHS is therefore not recognized as an existing condition.
The disease finds itself in uncertain territory. According to scientific consensus, it is considered a psychosomatic manifestation where the brain makes the body sick rather than an external influence. At the same time, it is continually sought by this same scientific world which qualifies it as unreal. We know about magnetic sensitivity in fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and also several mammals. Yet humans seem to be an exception. If humans are truly an exception, it could imply that this ability was lost relatively recently in our evolutionary history. If so, it could be that traces of this lost ability persist today. It is clear that the last word on the existence of human magnetic reception has not yet been written. Until then, EHS exists on both sides of this real/unreal question.
Words and pictures by Nick Somer.
Nick Somer (1993) is a Belgian documentary photographer based in Ghent. He completed a Masters in Visual Arts – Photography at KASK School of Arts Ghent in 2021. His work often explores topics where what is considered certain or objective is questioned. Follow him on instagram and PhMuseum.
This feature is part of Story of the Week, a handpicked selection of relevant projects from our community by curators at the PhMuseum.