DEAR BODY, is about healing and reflecting within yourself in order to reconnect. It is a space of retrospecting unapologetically the precious creature that one is. We all have our own universe, with our constellation of emotions, thoughts, and energies forming who we are. Each human is born in a body, our home throughout life, forming the roots that enables us to live all emotions, intensities, and experiences. Our own inner connection is not “un long fleuve tranquille”, a long quiet river. It is an ocean, full of currents and life within. Through smooth crystal blue water to deep blue wavy storms, the ocean remains, consisting of underwater landscapes in endless cycles of construction and destruction. Our vulnerabilities create our strength and our scars strengthen our core. Mental health is the pilar of life and is primordial to our being. The idea is to create a platform of healing; to enter into a discussion with ourselves.
Hello, hello :) Thank you for travelling through a very dear project. My name is Eileen Wingaard Sjøqvist and I am a cocktail. From a multicultural background and identity, I am a very curious creature. From exchanging with humans at the bakery to exploring the diverse curves of our earth, I am thirsty for living. DEAR BODY, has been a source of rebirth. Being such an emotional person, I have a sensitive nature to all kinds of energies surrounding me and the ones forming from within. I have encountered many moments in life where my emotions have been in control. Through this process, I am healing constantly towards the journey of inner peace. We all get swirled up by circles that our mind creates. We all are light and darkness.
DEAR BODY, was developed in June 2019, one of the most intense times of my studies. In the middle of a peek of eating disorder, and feeling so confused. I decided that it was time to confront and heal myself. Not feeling ashamed about it anymore. The more you talk about it, the more alive it gets. It can be so heavy to hear it out loud, yet the lighter it can become. Indeed, since I have been sharing this project about my journey, opening up with my closest ones and also to people I thought never would know that side of me, I have understood more in depth how this is affecting me. Who I am. An eating disorder or any kind of mental states or emotions are not something that just flows away. It's in constant metamorphosis and so are we. It can come back in so many variants, surprise you or come lingering. To let go of pilling up. The whole process of developing the idea, and creating, became a therapy. Nowadays the theme of mental health is broadly talked about, and we have a wider access to knowledge about it. However, it is still a taboo, many people suffer from it every single day, in various representations. That challenging time also gave me the strength and courage to open. We all live through tough moments, and this is a space where people can feel identified and supported, and others can get a deeper understanding. Indeed we so often harm and down-grade ourself. The idea is to reach out and create a community of supporting each other. Why is it such a taboo?
Just start, trust yourself, and don't plan too much ahead. Grab a book welcoming your journey on its free empty pages. Start to write whatever comes to your mind. What your thoughts are, what you have been thinking about, or noticing. Think about what connects you even deeper. What do you believe in? What brings you closer to yourself? What disconnects you? What makes you urge of anger and feel light as a feather? Yet also, don't ask yourself too many questions, listen to your gut, take the extension of your arm – your camera – and just photograph. Remember that feeling when you take a picture and your heart beats a bit faster and you breathe a bit deeper?
Learn how to open yourself to life and to your surroundings again. We often forget to really see, not just look. What are your eyes capturing? What is the scent filling your nostrils? What are the tips of your fingers in contact with? Where is your mind wandering? We don’t need to have any answer. So many things in life have no answer, it is the process of being aware of them that creates the inter-dimensional connection, and will bring us closer with our being.
How we are even at the end of the Bachelor feels unreal. I still remember the first day at the welcome days, and one teacher told us: “No worries, Berliners are very happy, they just don’t show it.” and we all had a good laugh, thinking what did I get myself into? Well, I am really thankful and happy that I chose this path, it has made me grow in so many ways. Berlin gives you a slap in the face, yet opens its arms to comfort you while you deconstruct and reconstruct yourself. All of the souls I have met here from diverse corners of the world broadening my dimensions, changing my life in so many ways, so grateful. It was my dream to live in a place of melting pot, a place where you rediscover the world. Where you confront your biases. I have lost myself and rediscovered myself. This journey has strengthened my belief in life and metamorphosed into the being that I am today. All these discussions of exchanging thoughts and reflections, all these hours reviewing photographs while learning how to see again. All of this influencing me as a being and as a photographer.
Photography is such a powerful tool. Throughout history, visuals have changed our way of seeing. Like an awareness, a proof. Everything that we see, hear, or experience throughout the day influences our ideas and thoughts. Photography is a tool to communicate and to make someone reflect. When you see a photograph, it will trigger questions within you. It will make you realise a point of view, and confronts you. It offers a different sight of society, of our surrounding and of ourselves, like a mirror of who we are. Even subconsciously, we are altered by our surrounding. All of the variables that we have within us shape who we are. From the internal space formed by our roots, culture, ancestors, experiences; to the external dimensions formed by social structures, education, our surrounding.
Just being. :)