‘I am a citizen of the world!’ is a statement often espoused by many of this new millennial generation. These small growing streams of cosmopolitans continue to rise above the biases of their own cultures and traditions. They have adopted a Universalist lens rooted in an authentic understanding of their own complex cultural identities, how we relate as humans and interconnect with those who are different than us. Kwame Anthony Appiah, a philosopher and cultural theorist who has written on Cosmopolitanism defines it as ‘universality plus difference’ and says ‘the boundary of your state is not the boundary of your moral concern’.
This small project hoped to redefine culture shock as an opportunity to grow and challenge our assumptions we have of other people in this world. I wanted to utilize the power of photography and the power of stories by interviewing individuals to understand our human capacity to be resilient in times of challenges. We all hold a responsibility to fully understand this world by breaking down walls of stereotypes and recognizing the common humanity we all share.
We have forgotten how to live free and question our own narratives and assumptions. The spaces between us are filled by complex societal and cultural contexts that often breed ignorance and assumptions that eat away our humanity. Out of fear and misunderstanding we construct ‘the other’ in people living in our own communities to people living across the world. Conflict and violence are often propagated because of these misunderstandings. This projects raises awareness and fight against ignorance.