When I heard about the Neighbo(u)r project, I was very intrigued by the concept of using this expired film and through it connecting with people in my community. As shooting film is always an experiment, this was more than that, because of the expiration the medium was more unpredictable with its grain and discoloration. These imperfections of color and grain were the most interesting for me because I could relate them more to the people I was shooting. Also the challenge of working with the limitations of the expired film and embracing the unexpected was what made me want to be a part of it.
The most challenging part for me was shooting portraits. I never took many pictures of people in the past. I mainly focused on architecture, objects or details in my environment so particularly aiming on shooting people in my community was a nice new challenge for me.
It was defintely making these new connections with people I already knew and are close to me. While shooting these pictures I got to spend time with them in a totally different way than I usually do. The pictures I made, capture them as they are and what they were doing at the time I visited them. Through my lens I saw new aspects of them while we talked and that for me was the most rewarding, finding out new things about each other and seeing new perspectives. Also shooting three generations of women, who are very important to me.
I mainly took photos of people in my close environment such as my grandmother, my mother and sister but also my closest friends. Because in a way I see them as an always existing part of my neighborhood no matter where I go. These are the people I look up to and through these photos we got a chance to share new moments with each other and also look at each other differently. It was a new experience for both them and me. I also tried to capture them as honest as possible in their environment, like I see them through my eyes but in a more fragmented way.
During the process of taking pictures I learned that I had to cross a certain kind of threshold within myself because I was not used to taking pictures of people. In a way, the people who stand in front of you in that moment are showing themselves as they are and it evokes a kind of vulnerability I was not familiar with when shooting architectural elements or objects in their own environment. The project also made me question what my neighborhood is for me. Despite the fact that I have almost lived in the same places all my life, my neighborhood is not defined by a specific place in time, but it is more like a sentiment you get when you are being surrounded by the people you love.