Perspective and perception dominate our existence, our cognitive experience, our awareness of the world around us, our understanding of the other. They allow us to create our unique viewpoint and attitude to life. At the same time, perceiving reality from one angle accentuates makes us unable to see and feel the world from somebody else’s shoes.
These are the reflections brought to light by A Seat at the Table, the new collaboration between the South African photographer and visual artist, Justin Dingwall, and the model Moostapha Saidi. The series of images is inspired by Saidi’s vitiligo, a condition which affects the skin pigmentation, his life experience and his journey of acceptance of the disease, which made his upbringing very hard, but filled him with confidence, strength and great pride.
The idiom which titles the project recalls the idea of having a position as a member of a group that makes decisions. As Saidi’s condition often resulted in people objectifying him and excluding him for his appearance, Dingwall wanted to represent a metaphorical opportunity to have a voice, to be heard, seen, and, therefore, to change people’s preconceptions. “The images that I have created with Moostapha aim to start conversations about preconceived ideas and perceptions based on appearance, and how what we see affects what we think,” the photographer said.
All images | Photos by Justin Dingwall
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