Thanks for coming to have a look at my portrait series called “What we will look like in 2030”! I mean, you’re probably my mom or my aunt, but let’s pretend you’re not. You’re always welcome here, as I’ll be posting new pictures and snippets of conversations every other day!
What will we look like in 2030? This project will show glimpses of the lives of individuals aged zero to thirty today. What are our plans, hopes and worries for the future? Based on four different viewpoints, the portraits will span four countries from four different corners of the world: 1) Post-conflict: Vietnam, 2) In conflict: Israel and Palestine, 3) Pre-conflict: Brazil and lastly 4) Ending conflict: Senegal, with the 2014 ceasefire marking the end of a 30 year long civil war.
How did that idea evolve? See, this portrait project was born out of a bit of a desperately low point in my life. At nineteen, I marched out of the Norwegian school system with a good-girl grade report and endless expectations to life, which had always been so easy on me. After the shortest attempt on medical school in Bergen you've ever heard of (five weeks) I decided to study international relations in Geneva instead, an immensely interesting city of diplomacy. And so I did the entrance exams. I found a nice little apartment. I settled in.
And from that point I pretty much failed everything there was to fail.
I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say that I spent that time in Switzerland not passing a single exam, heartbroken, with every last franc of my student loan vanishing on gin and spätzli (I honestly can’t explain to you what spätzli is, apart from tasty - because I don’t know. Look it up). Broke and self-pitying, I started bingeing series on Netflix to numb the feeling of meaninglessness. I became one of those early-20-somethings who had never really been struck by real misfortune - just too high expectations.
By the results of the final exam I was actually blocked from the course at University of Geneva. Imagine that - crashing your studies so badly that they take your student’s lisence away? I called my mom and had to wait a solid minute for her to finish laughing at me. As I was sitting there, now a double dropout, I realised doing sensible stuff was something I’d keep failing miserably at. And so I did what any confused millennial would do: I took a gap year.
... A gap year with a twist, that is. As I left Switzerland and took up a job as a waitress at a mountain lodge back home in Norway, the ideas started brewing in the windy, isolated mountains. I’d had this idea lurching in the back of my head to do an extensive project on portrait photography. I also kept thinking about whether what I expected of life would have been different had I grown up in another country. More than anything, I was curious of other ways of thinking, other ways of growing up, other ways of being young, really. Because there isn’t much nice said about young westerners these days. They say we’ve become too comfortable in our own bubbles of idyllic Instagram feeds and Tinder fucks paired with our expectations to succeed sensationally at everything we do (such as studying in Switzerland). How could I merge all of those urges and thoughts into one project?
You’re looking at the result. What will we look like in 2030? With our drive, with our global identity, with our restlessness, with our unparallelled level of education, with our smartphones, with our expectations?
I don’t know. Let's find out, while spending all our future savings on travelling and fighting food poisoning in shabby downtowns. I’ll keep posting portraits - hoping to see you around in here!
Any questions? Drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org