Our individual identity is formed by belonging to and differentiating ourselves from other people, groups and attitudes. Where do we belong, who do we want to be? This question also occupies artists. How is one’s own identity expressed/addressed in the artistic creative process? How do artists relate to people and their particular stories in their works? How do they counter discrimination, such as racism or homophobia, for example?
Would you like to have special superpowers that you could use to influence your everyday life?
Wanting to belong somewhere is part of being human. Where do we belong? Who do we want to be? But it is often very difficult and sometimes painful. Which superpowers would be particularly useful to you in everyday life? Are there qualities that you especially appreciate and like in yourself or in other people? Do you sometimes have the impression that these qualities can be just as strong as superhero powers?
Who tells us who we are?
How do people talk about you? Can you think of words that your friends, family, teachers, or strangers use to address or describe you? Do you take on different roles depending on your environment? Do you sometimes adapt to the environment even though you disagree with it? How do you express your disagreement?
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Pay attention to the words you use to describe yourself. What tones do you use to communicate about yourself and with others in everyday life? Do you often feel that you are addressed incorrectly or that you do not address other people appropriately? Where do you think misunderstandings come from?
Who creates the images of people?
How do you portray other people—your friends, neighbors, family? Do you look for similarities or differences to yourself? To which existing images do you orientate yourself? Where do they come from? Have you noticed that the images sometimes do not correspond to reality? They are staged for a particular audience and appeal to or counteract certain ideas and perceptions.
How do we show that we want to belong somewhere?
How are the small groups at your school, in your leisure time or at work comprised, what do they form around? What separates and what connects people? Sometimes artists show us through their works the structures that help us to be what we really feel, but which can also slow us down. What means do artists use to express belonging or rejection?