what you

believe in

(2017)

what does trust mean for you?

what does it mean to be a woman / man?

It’s been a few weeks since I stopped wandering around castles and palaces. I no longer wait in corridors for people to stop walking in the frame. It’s been a few weeks since I started asking questions in coffee shops. To friends, colleagues, strangers. We drink, we walk, we eat tapas, sometimes we laugh, sometimes tears fill our eyes.

I ask them what they’re made of and they tell me what life means to them. Unexpectedly, people who have never asked to be here in the first place generously open up and divulge their innermost thoughts. We talk about trust and what it means to be a man or a woman.

We talk about what their beliefs are, what they hide from themselves or from others, what they are grateful for.

With There Was Silence, I visited amazing places from all centuries and cultures. With What You Believe In, I’m discovering the beauty of people around me. And I hope that if I focus hard enough on what’s beautiful about them, they will not lose sight of it either.

what do you believe in?

what are you grateful for?

A few weeks after starting this project, I find myself in possession of nearly 20 portraits. Friends, family, strangers. People I've asked several weeks ahead of time, others who spontaneously offered to participate. Some driven by curiosity who listened to the answers of others before stepping in. People who have opened the door on who they are when no one's watching, they've switched on the lights for me and have actually let me in.

One of them said to me he would have liked to know what my answers would have been in his place - the sprayed sprinkler. I'm asking myself the same thing after each interview. When people start talking, the only thing that matters is getting the focus on the eyes and sometimes, I receive thunder from their answers. An emotional ride which prevents any form of comparison or judgement. These are slaps on the fragile balance of an immature philosophy. Simple words to explain elaborate concepts in life in the most exquisite way. Age, experience or even my own prejudice are of no consequence here. People fascinate me. Sometimes it's about their elegance, sometimes it's in what they're not saying to the camera but that you can guess from seconds of hesitation.

Facing my sister who played my role behind my camera, I wanted to know what comes out of me. For each question I've asked, the past emerges through wet eyelashes, the voice trembles and there's not even a reason anymore. 24h later, thinking about it, I hate each of my answers. I said anything but what matters. 

Do you know how it feels like when you've got an idea, and what you get from the smallest effort comes back at you a thousand times stronger? This is what's happened in this project when you've answered my questions. When, suddenly, we're back on a human scale, you and I. I wonder what goes on in your minds, in your bodies. But I'm grateful because I feel alive when you talk about life in your language.

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