(photographer and storyteller)
Living in a mixed race marriage truly opens your eyes to a lot of hurtful facts in this world. Together we have lived on 4 continents and you can't really say that racism is worse here or there. In fact, it's everywhere. Being white, you think you know what it is, sometimes you can imagine the feeling of it, but you have no idea, until you're black or at least tied at the hip with a person of color. Simply traveling on an African passport gets you questioned everywhere you land.
I've gotten in trouble many times for speaking up on his behalf, when clearly he is not being listened to. I've questioned why I'm not asked the same questions. The questions come down on you rudely and threatening.
The assumptions are immediately negative whereas the assumptions about me are simply that I'm a traveler. It is tiring and endlessly frustrating having to explain yourself over and over just to be. My partner is a performer and early in life, growing up in South Africa, he has learnt that for those moments on stage, he is accepted even celebrated for his talents.
But the moment he steps off the stage, he's no longer treated as an equal human being. I took this picture today, after our neighbor said this to me... (I had just informed her that we are moving out) "well we had to tolerate him in our neighborhood, as long as he was behaving well, we had no reason not to greet him". Unfortunately even this insane statement did not surprise me.
Next to him, I've experienced everything and my anger grows with every insult while he can brush it off for that moment. His strength and wisdom to remain calm in those moments surpasses mine a thousand fold. My photo represents the everyday pain of a person of color in a systematic white world. His eyes speak of the hurt he experiences amongst white faces.