In what way does the degree of acceptance or discrimination by native Dutch influence the degree of integrated dual identity of young people and how do we make a positive change?
My project ‘Meisjes zoals ik’ (The Girls Like Me) is a series of double portraits in which Suzette crawls in the skin of her friends, girls with dual identity that is shaped by both Dutch culture and their foreign ethnicity. Although we live in a so-called multicultural society in the Netherlands, the dual identity from the sidelines is not fully accepted.
Research has shown that there is either integration (dual identity) or segregation (one-sided ethnicity identification) among ethnic minorities. Whether it is one or the other depends on the extent to which community exercises pressure on people to remain loyal to their origin and not to “become too Dutch". It also depends on the position that owns grouping in Dutch society. From the acceptance and openness that Dutch society occupies and to what extent the two cultures can be united.
In searching for ways to make a dual identity more accepted Suzette has crawled in the skins of her friends. In final presentation, the image plays the main role and makes it obvious that the questions about dual identities are addressed. The intention is to awaken the change of thought among the viewers by means of a positive lighting of the subject. Prejudices reduce the option to equal opportunities, and the only way to outwit prejudice is to become acquainted. Through the images and the personal interviews that Suzette has taken from all her friends, she tries to start this process.
Curious about Suzette's other projects? Visit her website.