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  • A couple of years ago, strolling through the backstreets of Paris, I met the wall. Alternatively, you could say I met myself. Sometimes, one equals the other.


    Lost in my own thoughts, as usual, I jumped at the sight of the tall girl who suddenly appeared right in front of me. Her camera lens was pointed directly at my face, like a weapon, and I instinctively drew my own, pointed it and took a shot at her face. She didn't move. We both remained standing, lens to lens, and even though the camera covered half of her face I recognized my own. It was like looking into a mirror, but the wall in front of me was made of concrete, there was no glass reflecting my image. And yet, there I was, in full figure.


    I was terrified.
  • A couple of years earlier, in Ireland, I encountered a magical man. He was a stranger, yet he spoke to me as if we knew each other intimately.


    I'm an observer, I keep to myself, hiding behind my camera, zooming in on others from a safe distance. I don't like it when others zoom in on me. But there he was, suddenly standing in my way, looking directly at me, and I wasn't prepared, I wasn't ready. I covered my secrets to the best of my ability, but couldn't shake the feeling that he already knew.


    "Why are you so shy?" he inquired, without introduction. "I'm not shy," I replied, too quickly, surprised by his abrupt characterization. He looked at me with narrow, wolf-like eyes. As always when I encounter a person I sense might be trying to disempower me, I put on my suit of armor. He saw right through it, and that frightened me immensely.


    "I may have been mistaken," he said, softly, as if to himself. "It's your eyes that confuse me, they flutter like restless birds," he said, "and I am beginning to realize that there's something you are trying to hide." I quickly looked away, and he continued: "No, it's not shyness at all, you're just trying to cover your pain." I shook my head, but was unable to utter a word of objection. He smiled, knowingly. "You're afraid," he concluded. "You're afraid of failure, you fear that you're not good enough for this world."

    *

    How could he have noticed my fear? I am so good at concealing it, I know I am, I protect it so fiercely. How could he see straight through me like that, and how could he be so uncompromising, so cruel, as to name what he saw? I had buried it six feet under my skin, how could he spot it, and why would he dig it out? Without knowing me, without even having asked me a personal question, he pinpointed my deepest secret, and what else am I to conclude than that he must somehow have been me, or I him? I took a deep breath and turned my back on him, walked away from his scrutinizing gaze, terrified.
  • You in the mirror; me. Me in the mirror; you. Youme & Meyou, playing hide and seek between words of poetry and concepts of individuality.


    We 'gift each other a thousand names and take them off, take them off again like excessive jewelry'
    We 'defend each other against the past'
    We 'fail, fail and try again, fall off a cliff, succeed, and fall, fall again'
    We 'invent each other ever anew'

    *

    You in the mirror, merging into me, and vice versa. You reveal something I don't want to see, you know something I don't want to take part in. You; me. Me; you. I am looking directly at you, my eyes are wide open, yet your view of me is blurred by the fact that I am holding something back. Ignore the camera, ignore the investigating eye of the lens, my third eye, my protector. That's what my name means, did you know that, it means protector. But who protects the protector, who has my back while I'm fighting my own fears in this open battlefield?


    Even when I look directly at you, I hide something, I am scared, but I can't name my fear.
  • The images in colour are photographs of a mural in Paris, sadly I no longer remember their exact location, or the name of the artist(s)... The title and quotes are from the song Youme & Meyou by Einstürzende Neubauten.
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