Performing the Other within. Portrait series of Lish.
Constructing a narrative that not only relates to the person Lish, (the portrayed) , but also relates to the personal life of the photographer; Dagmar van Weeghel, a life that confronts the problems of her on subjectivity candidly.
In 2016 Dagmar van Weeghel met Lish, a Kenyan professional model and IT business consultant. Lish moved to the Netherlands eight years ago. Her experiences and serious identity related struggles as a Kenyan woman from the LUO tribe now living in the Netherlands, has connected to Van Weeghel personal life in such a way that Lish’s experiences have Co-authored the ‘About Lish’ series seen through the lens. Lish's story- Dagmar's eyes.
Dagmar herself is married to a man from Zimbabwe and when they relocated to Europe, she witnessed his intense struggle to redefine himself in the absence of his homeland roots, family and culture too. Just like Lish did and this is what connected the two. But Lish struggled with another issue; that she is black and female.
To fit in the western society is a constant struggle that many times left Lish feeling frustrated and with a feeling of not being good enough. She struggled with depressions. There was her constant battle in Europe, trying to find her new identity, to fit in and prove herself to stereotype minds, of people who have a primitive and exotic perception of the black skin.
In this ongoing series Van Weeghel captures Lish and the black female body in a way that doesn’t blatantly avoid the trappings of exoticism and objectification, but boldly offers them in a way that quickly promotes the interiority of Lish. Also Van Weeghel has literally placed her identity along with Lish’s in many of the compositions (there are other chapters too which are not submitted here). She appears through metaphorical moves, as native of Holland her nationality becomes entwined with the body of Lish. Lish is photographed in the Dutch countryside mimicing African nature and shown performing ‘her other’ within. Dagmar and Lish hope that these portrait will bridge and change the way people see the world and each other.