BALOBESHAYI

African Women Voices

To be or not to be

Last night I was asked a question. “Are you a photographer?” “No …” I answered uncertainly. The guy who heard me, laughed amused. I smiled back uncertainly. It is not a difficult question apparently. Either you are or you are not, like black and white. Is it?

The question is tricky. Or maybe is just the “Are you” opening sentences to put my answers in a sort of limbo. “Are you Italian?” “Yes, but … also Congolese.” “Are you a journalist?” “No, well … yes… but … I’m still learning …”

While I decide not to make any comments on the cultural identity issue, I question myself. When you become something? Do you “become” or you just “are”? Will I be a photographer when someone pays for my work or I already am? Who and what decide how we call ourselves?

I do apologise for not having a concise answer to that. I just don’t know. Is the eternal “to be or not to be.” Well, I just make a decision right now. I am. Yes, I am a photographer. Yes indeed, I am a journalist.

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This entry was posted on 17 October 2010 by in Comment and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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