A Stranger In My Own Skin
Congolese photographer Godelive Kasangati uses self-portraiture to explore trauma in her past and present.
In Godelive Kasangati’s project Étrangère a young woman faces the camera in urban and private landscapes. Her expression is at times stern, others confrontational, and at times it reaches a powerful state of trance. Her persona rises, twists, becomes a vehicle for absorbing but uneasy feelings. “By staging these images in my home and in spaces that are familiar to me, I use my own body as a surface to explore my personal history and the voids created by absence”, she says.
When the separation of her parents leaves unanswered questions, the photographer responds to the dissociation caused by this event seeking to reconnect with herself. The camera is her tool as she reconstructs the setting of past events and places herself at the center. Performing becomes for her a way to rationalze the estrangement from loved ones, while exorcizing it.