INHERITANCE – POEMS OF NON-BELONGING
There are tones of blacks, whites, and greys in representational, personal, or experimental portraits. There is a reflection on the White Gaze, commentary on exotism and other visual poems. There is nature, which is where we’re equal in our origin, yet it is dark and leaves room for how the perceived is described and passed on. But the natural is always intertwined with the artificial – like the human who remains captive of his very own ideology.
Inheritance – Poems of Non-Belonging is a growing narrative on the incompatible nature of my biracial identity, provoked by the conflicting desires of belonging for once, and yet wanting to be able to define the Self independently from external judgment and categorization, while remaining the other – regardless if I’m confronted with my presence in the white culture I grew up in, or with a temporary appearance in a Black culture.
While Inheritance is undeniably shaped by autobiographical matters, the work also reflects on the urgent contemporary debate around systemic racism and anti-blackness in the context of a recently growing awareness from those who are not affected themselves, and the uprising from those who suffer from it.
Rather than pretending a simplicity of the subjects involved by choosing an approach of homogenous visual form, Inheritance is deliberately diverse in its commentary and materiality, attempting to reflect on the fragmentation of the Self and its complex process of re-construction.
Identity is not being negotiated, but liberated.
Inheritance – Poems of Non-Belonging was awarded the Prix Photoforum in 2020 and the Prix d’Art Robert Schuman in 2021. It was among the highly commended works for the Firecracker Grant 2021 and has been shown in the Still We Rise group show at PHmuseum London in 2021.