What are the factors which shape our identity as individuals? How much control do we have over the development of our identities? Do identities change over time?
This pair of images portray some of the external influences and experiences which combine to create individual identities. Weaving a complex pattern, the different factors hold us tightly within their grasp. We find ourselves unable to separate the positive influences from the negative ones, and we lose sight of our authentic selves.
Bound by social constructs and trapped in a world of online media, we lose control of our identities as they develop. Stifled, our passions lie dormant. Self-expression and creativity remain trapped within the web of outside factors which bind us. Free thinking is discouraged, in case we should remember what it is to be an individual. In case we should realise what wonderful possibilities exist in a world of different identities. We are propelled along a well-worn path. One which is followed by others who are similarly constrained.
It’s time. Time to break free from the ties which hold us. Time to recognise which influences build us, and which tear us back down. Time to remember what it means to be an individual, and to take pride in one’s path. Time to retrieve our moral compasses and be prepared to take a stand. For our passions, for those around us, for the planet. Time to celebrate individual identities.
These pictures were selected in the 'Personal Photography Work' category, to exhibit at the Photofusion gallery in London, as part of the PhotoVoice members' exhibition, 2018. The PhotoVoice mission is to promote the ethical use of photography for positive social change, through delivering innovative participatory photography projects. By working in partnership with organisations, communities, and individuals worldwide, the organisation is helping to build the skills and capacity of underrepresented or at risk communities, creating new tools of self-advocacy and communication.