Rebecca Fertinel (b.1991, RO) is interested in the relationship between individual and group identity and how they correlate. Especially to examine human behavior in an intercultural context. Themes of identity, belonging and femininity are strong values she strives for in her work. By photographing people she discovers her own identity as a human, and also as a photographer.
Ubuntu is a long term project inspired by the philosophy of Bantu. Ubuntu can also be translated as ‘I Am Because We Are’ and is about how individuals depend on each other, take care of each other to become whole. Relationships between the individual and group identity is important in this work, where the viewer gets a closer view on a Congolese family in Belgium. Photographing this family in a celebrated way, it shows the events where the traditions are the highest and the group identity the strongest.
Ubuntu reflects the representation of a different cultural expression, where the photographer goes from outsider (as white girl) to being part of the group, although without fully understanding it. ‘Ni Belge, ni Congolais’ because living in a different culture shifts your own culture and habits and shows how people deal with these aspects. This project wants to place the viewer inside an environment that most have experienced at one time or another for a wedding, party or a wake. A place where the emotions are what is important and the flaws of the room overlooked. It is a symbolic representation for every culture experiencing an environment where they hold strong to their standards and values, in fear of losing their cultural identity.
To view more of Rebecca Fertinel’s work please visit her website.