I’ve decided to pursue a book project that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time now. Since college, I have continually been interested in how we choose to identify ourselves and what aspects of ourselves we hold as the most important aspects of who we are. I’ve done work around nonobvious connections between people and how we can build connections between seemingly completely different people, as well as work focused on challenging stereotypes in the past. Most of this work has been from my personal perspective and, as I have been doing more editorial and storytelling work, has felt increasingly limited and shortsighted. With this project, I really want to push the experiences and perspectives of others to the forefront.
The basic premise of this project, which I’m calling subVERSION for the time being, is to highlight folks that subvert societal/cultural expectations with their personal identity. My hope is to feature 40 different people and do a five photo fashion/lifestyle editorial spread featuring each person’s personal style along with their answers to a few questions. In terms of delivery, I plan to collect these accounts in a book, or possibly a series of zines, as well as doing highlights here on my blog and on social media.
Below are the identity-related questions I am planning to use and I’d love some feedback on them or the project overall:
- Who are you?
- How do you identify/How would you describe your identity?
- When did you start identifying this way?
- What obstacles stood in the way of you realizing your identity?
- Who were you told to be by your society/family/etc?
- Do you see your identity as a constantly evolving process or do you feel like that your identity is inalterable? (Thanks to Jade Gonzales for suggesting the addition of this question!)
- Why are you proud of your identity and who you are?
Let me know your thoughts, can’t wait to start working on this.