“My project is called ‘Humans’ and it focuses identity and personality. I take a portrait photo (using a Canon EOS 5000 film camera with 35mm colour negative film) of a person and they choose the pose and background. I then pose them a “thought-provoking” question, which they can interpret and answer in any way they choose. Their photo’s caption will feature both the question and the answer, thus each post respectively will give an insight into the person’s being, way of thinking, and identity.”

“Describe a memory you want to forget but can’t.”

Anna – “My mum and dad fight a lot and rarely speak to each other even till this day. One memory ingrained in my brain for many, many years was a time when I was watching a funny TV show with my mum and dad. Someone on TV made a joke and my mum and dad turned to each other and laughed. I’ve never seen such happy and genuine expressions on their faces, let alone see them look at each other. They didn’t see me look at them but those were, to me, the most precious 5 seconds – but also the 5 seconds that I wish I never saw.

“If you could speak to yourself from 5 years ago, what would you say?”

Liangyi – “Don’t listen to yourself.

“Tell me about a time when you felt like you’d lost it all.”

Chin – “Honestly, there hasn’t been a time in my life yet where I truly felt like I lost it all, but there have been moments that I felt lost. My last relationship challenged me and made me question my worth. I saw the signs from the start but refused to confront it. Lol love and infatuation really blind you man. I ended up getting hurt. I’ve always been positive and hopeful no matter how bad situations get but I became the opposite for a while. I only focused on that one ‘bad’ thing and temporarily, well, lost my queen ass self. Then I realised we often forget that how we feel is determined by how we think about ourselves. We are what we repeatedly do. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong; the amount of work is the same. I started to appreciate the little things in life that many of us take for granted like the chance to wake up every day to restart. I wanted to be in control of my emotions rather than a person or a situation. I learnt many things along the way like the importance of unconditional love towards family, friends, and especially to the person who cracked my cute lil heart. Love is never wrong. When someone comes into your life who allows you the opportunity to experience love, that’s always a true gift. That romantic love has evolved into a love that encompasses care and compassion for a person who had an important place in my life. That became the main recipe of my healing process. I just wanted to grow. You really can’t move forward unless you forgive yourself and the situation. Also, trust your intuition lol. In some ways, I am thankful for that relationship because it held a mirror in front of me to really see who I am, my worth, and what I deserve. They say, ‘When the pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure’ – and so it is! I’m so excited for what the future has in store for me. I’ve so much love to give and to spread. With that said, even the moments you feel like you’ve lost it all can pave a way for you to discover more about yourself and make you stronger; just trust the process.

“Tell me something you wish you didn’t do but did anyway.”

Kamara – “There are too many. I think there are a lot of things I did that apply to this, all of which seemed like such a big thing at the time, but now looking back, it’s actually not that deep lol. It’s inevitable for us to make mistakes and regret them like hell later on but we learn from them. I used to dwell and overthink about so many things in the past that I felt were impossible to overcome. It’s different now. No doubt it’s still a challenge, since failure doesn’t particularly feel like a learning opportunity hah. But yeah I don’t know, aren’t ‘mistakes’ just experiences? You get me?

“Tell me about the biggest fight you have been in.”

Phil – “I’ve had many fights, almost all of them physical; arguments with exes, squaring up with my brothers, and even some friends just to name a few. But honestly, if I look at this question and ask what fight I have struggled with the most, and one that still affects me to this day and probably will continue to till the end of my days, I would have to say the fight I’ve had with depression. It sounds cliché as fuck, I know, but that shit gets to you. It’s like you’re in a maze with the exact route of how to escape, but the closer you get to the exit, the more blind you become, and you somehow end up at the start again and it’s just a cycle of that constantly. Yeah. If that makes sense haha. That’s my biggest fight. Pizza helps though.

“What’s the hardest decision you’ve had to make?”

Adrien – “Letting her go.

Humans: Duality – “Describe someone you hate.”

Mack – “They’re really biased towards my sister and I hate that. I feel like I never really spent that much time with them as they were busy with my sister. I kinda can’t blame them though. My sister went through some tough shit, so I guess someone had to be there for her. But when I went through some tough shit, they would be like ‘suck it up’. I mean, I got why they said that and stuff, but I kinda just wanted someone to give me attention like they did for my sister. I now resent my sister because of it too. There are other stories, but I think I would be giving away who this person is. If it isn’t already obvious. Haha. Boom.

Humans: Duality – “Describe the saddest you’ve ever been.”

Jess -“I am washing my hands
it goes down the pipe and sink
under water I watch my words
drain away from me I can
see her tired eyes I can
hear their told you so I can
feel hands around my lungs
tearing leering fearing
the hands are still mine

Interviews and photoshoots conducted by Kobǝ Gutierrez

Special thanks to Kobǝ for this collaborative feature.