I can see you Jos

To feel seen and heard is important to every human being. When we don’t feel seen it hurts, it makes us cover up our beauty and it makes us hide from the world in all different kinds of ways. Depression, violence, fighting for attention, terrorism, sadness, loneliness, chronic illness, addictions and over achieving for example can be ways to express the pain. We constantly need to prove the world and ourselves that we are worth something. All from a wounded place. But what if you are seen, and what if others do see your beauty? What if we all where enough already?

This is the project; I make an image of individuals I barely know and talk to them about their lives. In a way this part is like a soul story. Then I print the portrait and ask other people I encounter to look in the eyes of this person and ask them to tell me what they see in this human being they have never met before. The beauty lies in the layering by bringing up questions about shadows, mirroring, who do the viewers see, what is my role as a photographer and how do I influence the way I see and therefore portrait a person. So what the viewer sees and feels, is that their, my, or the model’s interpretation or feeling?

Eyes are the mirrors of the soul but do I capture it?

It’s a project about beauty and awareness and it turned out to be a project about judgement as well. We all ‘judge’ people we meet by the way they look or the first feeling we get when we see the other. Or maybe by the group they belong to, or their profile pic. Is that a wrong thing? Or is it survival instinct? Interesting questions! And what if we really take a bit of time to look somebody in the eye and talk to them? I read somewhere that it is not possible to not like someone after hearing their story. But that is another project!

And of course there is much more to say about the project regarding social media, Tinder, job interviews and the few tiny seconds we need to decide whether someone is suited for that job or not, before we even spoke to the person. But for now I will leave you with this.

“Wat geweldig! Hoe is het mogelijk dat mensen zo goed zien wie ik ben. Ook wel een beetje beangstigend.”

The SoulStories vind je hier.

Het I can See You project vind je hier.

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