The DefinIdentity Project
The DefinIdentity (Define+Identity) project is a series of photostories which I first started in 2014. The first piece was part of a blog post and was only meant to be a one off. However, as I worked on it, I realized three things. Firstly, that I thoroughly enjoyed having women share their stories with me. Secondly that I felt honored, humbled and inspired that they trusted me to permanently print their words. Thirdly, as I marveled at the uniqueness of each individual’s story, it dawned on me that there were many more stories out there that had never been told. Indeed, as black women (African, African diaspora, African-descent), our voice has not yet posed the question of how to speak beyond the confines of the suffering voice, how to give an account of who we are other than what is portrayed in the media. Our portrayal tends to been that of disempowered, abused, angry, as either just wives, mothers or widows, as victims devoid of choice. Such portrayals are simply reductive.
The project aims to cover the societal, cultural and historical nuances that collectively and individually define each of us in this globalized world we live in. It seeks to transform existing narratives whilst focusing on how strong we are rather than how weak. Captured at a specific time, the stories are meant to show how at a given time, we represent and define ourselves. Let us share our stories and unite in our uniqueness.
Molded by my diverse background, I appreciate the cultural nuance of the human experience. I am passionate about justice, women's rights and the expression of the socio-political identity of black people around the world. Emboldened by those who have the courage to speak their truth, I feel compelled to ask questions and share those truths in ways that challenge my biases and the status quo. I am a gender equality specialist, a human rights activist and a storyteller.
Three words that describe me: curious, optimistic and persistent.