Robin Verhart (1991)

Born in Harbel, Liberia. When I reached the age of two, a loving Dutch family adopted me and brought me to a small village in the South of the Netherlands where I grew up. My parents always motivated and admired me exactly for who I am. However, it was not always easy growing up in a small, provincial town. With my dark skin and frizzy hair, I stood out and the attention was often focused on me. I always felt ‘different’ from everyone else. Consequently, I never liked to talk about my adoption in my childhood.

At a later age, I moved to Amsterdam and I have been living here for nine years. Here, I was confronted with a multicultural society and the attention diverged from me to the whole crowd. I stopped feeling different, felt included and realised I should be proud of my heritage and embrace my physical appearance. With this came acceptation – finally.

I have always been a creative person. I was not fond of studying in the classical sense, I always preferred to work on my paintings and drawings. For this reason, I started studying Graphic Design after I graduated from high school, where I first came into contact with photography. I came to the realisation that, through photography, I was able to express myself while capturing different stories and emotions. When I completed my Graphic Design degree, I could not wait to start studying Photography.

Whilst studying Photography, I was inspired by the subject of ‘identity’. Yet what does ‘identity’ really mean? In the past, I used to feel lost between two identities and I want to share this feeling with the outside world. By means of photography, I want to capture different identities and how they are created. Philosophically, with this type of photography, I aim to show how people form their self-image based on their identity.