In honor of the ones who came before us, I embark on a new journey through this series of images, wrestling with what inheritance looks like in the 21st century.
Landlessness in post-apartheid South Africa prompted me to question what it is that our generation, born ‘free’ into an unequal society, will both inherit and leave behind. While we have no control over what we have been handed down, we are responsible for our own legacy; we are responsible for the story we leave behind.
This body of work is just the beginning, as we pay homage to all that has shaped our identity – relationships, culture, our elders and mostly to the stories that are yet to be told.
Language, arts, fashion and value systems weave their way into our consciousness through conversations, prayer and upbringing. As Steve Biko put it, “There is always an interplay between the history of a people i.e the past, and their faith in themselves and hopes for their future.”
Many of us have become disassociated from the essence of who we are, left with a self- image of less-than. In the poem, Coleman’s Bed, David Whyte tells us, “…begin to welcome back all you sent away, make yourself a door through which to be hospitable, even to the stranger in you.”
So, in honor of the ones who came before us, this series of images is about taking back the ownership over our identity which I believe, could be our greatest inheritance of all.