Life is precious.
That is the message Kirsten Urdahl-Serr wants to impart with a new book called Moving Images, a collection of words and images by her son Aiden Serr, who was only 19-years-old when he lost his life in a tragic car accident in 2017.
Urdahl-Serr, who edited the book, admitted in the preface of the book that at the start of the project she wasn’t sure what she was trying to assemble on Aiden’s behalf. But, she said, in the early days of his loss, sinking in to his words and images helped her feel his presence.
She describes the book as, “simply a collection of words and images that I endeavoured to organize to bring some meaning or coherence for me.”
What she says she discovered about her son is, “that he is simply true to himself; it is almost as if he seemed to have a master plan that he worked from.”
Aiden lost his life in a single-vehicle crash on the Lougheed highway in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 2017.
He was a member of both the School for Contemporary Arts and the Faculty of Science at Simon Fraser University.
When he was 16-years-old he picked up a camera and over the next two years taught himself the art of photography.
All of the words and images in Moving Images are mostly all Aiden’s. Urdahl-Serr only added her voice, clearly marked in italicized text, if she felt a passage required context.
She organized the chapters of the book as a, “reflection of Aiden’s way of interacting with the world and what he valued.”
She also included a section in the book entitled Me that includes photographs taken by friends and family to show that Aiden, “lived what he loved.”
Urdahl-Serr ran into one problem when she discovered she could not use the published images on Aiden’s social media accounts as they were too small. So she had to match what she could to match his published photographs to the ones in his cache of original images.
“Keep in mind that it was an honourable effort,” she wrote in the preface.
The text of the book is made up from essays, journal entries, reports and social media posts made by Aiden. Larger posts were edited down to an excerpt. But some pieces Urdahl-Serr published in their entirety.
“I knew these to be significant writings for Aiden or I encountered them on my search and was struck by their lucidity,” she wrote adding that when you come across them you will know because they are, “inspiring in their own right or have an unexpected maturity for a man so seemingly young.’
Proceeds of the book will go towards the Aiden Serr Memorial Award at Simon Fraser University to encourage students to combine their knowledge of the sciences with the arts.
Moving Images is available in paperback on Amazon for $20.