“Where are you from?”
...can be a difficult question for some people to answer. It is indeed a normal way to begin the ritual of introduction, however the interlocutor usually expects a unique answer tied to some geographical point on earth which sometimes cannot be answered as briskly as they might expect. Expatriates, children of ambassadors which change country each 4 years or so, and members of multicultural families or diaspora would need to talk for 15min to make the other understand situations like “I was born in this country, but grew up in that other place and am actually feeling home here”.
Having this kind of "identity story" and growing up in Lebanon, which has a multitude of cultural backgrounds and communities inside of its population, I wanted to show that identity is a very complex feeling one forges during all their lifetime. The idea of this work is to collect different thoughts and impressions on the sense of belonging to something or somewhere. And furthermore, to remind that being "multi-cultural " comes not only with pros, but also with cons.
It will try to kill the stereotypes of the classical “I come from...” statement and develop this one into a more multi-faceted concept where languages, people, places, character, social circles, perception of and from others, and the construction of a sense of belonging play a role to create this special, sometimes indescribable feeling that changes from person to person.
In other words, this work will present (at least some) layers of a person.
As I believe that this concept is not simplifiable nor generalizable, and that it is a concept changing from one person to the other, I decided to present the problem through a series of portraits; interview or present people around the world that do not necessarily fit into a simple scheme of one cultural or geographical identity. I do not want to answer questions or construct theories, but rather make people reflect on what I believe is an ever growing aspect of our modern society.