Lost Identity, Kashif Ahmed Bin Arif
Lost Identity is a documentary series tracking the daily life of a member of the Deaf community. The photographs aim to represent aspects of Deaf life that are not seen or considered within hearing communities. Deaf individuals and Deaf communities have a rich language and culture of their own, which are rarely considered by hearing communities who are too quick to label Deaf people as “disabled”. Lost Identity seeks to highlight the frustrations felt by Deaf individuals as they navigate their identity to push beyond the assumptions and labels placed on them by the greater society. This series documents everyday moments in the life of one Deaf subject. Alexa is a complex person; a daughter, a friend, a young creative and a hockey fanatic. The pictures in this series attempt to document all these different aspects of her life; as she spends time alone and with others, as she communicates and negotiates her relationships, and the isolation, the frustrations and struggles that impact her life. The goal for this project is to capture the identity of the subject and the duality of moving between life in both the hearing and Deaf worlds. Those in the Deaf community do not see themselves as impaired. Labels such as ‘impaired’ or ‘disabled’ further separate them from the hearing community, and reinforces a false perception of their unique experiences. As a Deaf artist, this series has allowed me to elevate other Deaf individuals, to both raise awareness of the experiences of the Deaf community and to showcase their successes and achievements.