Due to my sister’s vastly different way of living—she has no phone, address, or job at the moment—I was afraid that we would lose our connection. With this project, I aim to gain a new understanding of her difficult situation. I hope to more clearly see our relationship by dealing with someone who was once very close to me.

Photographically, I am trying to answer the question of whether it is possible to authentically visualize the inner soul of a person. This project was, in many ways, created under extreme circumstances for my sister as well as for myself. During my last semester at university, our relationship intensified, and I found myself unable to concentrate on anything else.

Working with her was difficult—at times she would vanish completely—but in the end the project brought us closer together, even if only for a short period.

—Jana Dorn

Editor’s Note: Dorn’s project was recognized as one of five “Student Spotlights” by the jury of the LensCulture Portrait Awards 2017—don’t miss the work from all 44 of the outstanding, international talents! You can follow Dorn’s work on her Instagram account and personal website. This project will be exhibited in a gallery in Cologne, Germany, next winter.

If you’re interested in seeing other work on this and similar topics, we’d recommend the following articles: Familiars, a meditation on photography’s ability to evoke memories; Landscape and Solitude, a stunningly atmospheric series by South Korean photographer Boomoon; and Threads, Katie Kalkstein’s project on humanity’s ever-changing relationship with the environment.