portraits of Missouri’s marginalized communities, a project.
Produced by Valérie Berta.
The WE project is a series of portraits and videos that shines a restorative light on people who belong to marginalized communities in Missouri. The project is also a platform to foster intersectional dialogue. One photograph at a time, one voice at a time, one dialogue at a time, the WE project seeks a world of radical inclusion and equitable representation. We see each of us as who we are. Black and brown people, immigrants and refugees, Native Americans, L.G.B.T. people, religious minorities, people with disabilities, the homeless, all share a history of systemic and pervasive discrimination. With the recent rise in hate and extremism it has become vital that the diverse tapestry of our humanity be acknowledged and celebrated: in addition to their portraits, the WE project gives each participant a platform for telling their story in their own voice. We hear each of us as who we are.
The WE project also seeks to help bridge the gaps between these diverse communities through intersectional dialogue and to engage the community at large in a necessary and urgent conversation about diversity, inclusion and equity. This is who WE are. In loving each other in our differences we are all stronger. The portraits are taken against a neutral background in studio as a formal way of underlining our common humanity. I am asking of each person to submit a personal statement (whose format can range from a poem to a song to a personal narrative, or even artwork) about who they are, framed within the sense of their belonging to one, or more, of these marginalized communities and what it means to them.