a celebration of diversity
What You See Festival is an international arts festival on gender and identity.
The festival, launched in The Netherlands in 2018, is not about finding clear answers, but rather proposes a search to broaden deep ingrained norms and undermine premises on femininity and masculinity. Female/male, black/white, young/old, gay/straight, something in between or not any of those classifications: everyone is welcome to be confused and/or amazed and to experience some unforgettable works of art and beautiful encounters through theatre, dance, visual art, film and music. The richness and beauty of diversity is celebrated.
After last year's successful campaign design, Soopknife was invited again to create the 2019 campaign visual, posters, flyers and magazine cover.
During the research for this year's campaign I was instantly caught by a striking photo by JJ Jordan. I was convinced that for this second edition of the festival a human -with some edits- could become 'the face'.
With the aim to maintain its purity and integrity, I changed and added odd elements to derail the viewer and adjusted the light- and colouring for an enhanced dramatic, theatrical impact. This human subject would equally much rise questions for the viewer to address.
What's the story? Is there one to tell (or more than one)? Will it be revealed? An attractive, almost fashionable looking appearance with signs of aging in certain places. Is (s)he a (s)he? And does that even matter? Observing through the colourful eye of a proud peacock feather... Is (s)he hiding behind it? A cover or a safe haven? ...or perhaps coming out from behind? Is (s)he the spectator or the subject? Who's watching/judging who?