What makes you human?
Humanness. Why does this definition vary among each individual while at the same time it is our only common denominator? In this season of my life I feel as though I have been made more aware of my own humanity — through my inadequacy and perseverance, my transition and uncertainty, and most of all my continual search of answers about why and what’s next, yet coming up short every time.
I first engaged in this project, asking "what makes you human?" during my senior year of college. I surveyed a number of my friends, asking them to carefully think through this question, I photographed each person challenging them to think about their own humanness. Through the initial project I learned more about what it means to be human discovered, and more intimately, who these people were. This selection of people, however, were very like minded, had walked through a similar 4 year experience, and came from relatively similar socio-economic backgrounds. As I transitioned to the city of Chicago I was faced again with the question of what it means to be human, both in my own life and in my neighbors’. I am confident that what it means to be human can’t be fully defined by one person, one voice, or one story, but in fact we can determine a more accurate definition when we engage with those who are different from ourselves and from each other.
I want to learn from the city and people of Chicago, and as I listen closely to the voice of another and photograph the physicality of their humanness I hope to become more aware of the ways we our similar and that our needs aren’t so different — how our humanness unites us.