Photographer Sofie Knijff’s portraits zeroes in on her young subjects’ responses to the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
Children, with their innocence and vivid and imaginations, often have the most interesting answers when you ask them what they want to be when they grow up. Knijff shows exactly this in her series called Translations, which essentially are portraits of kids from rural areas of South Africa, India, Mali, Brazil, Iceland, and Greenland dressed up as who they want to be. A similar backdrop was used for all photographs, “creat[ing] a stage on which the dreams could come to life.”
Through Translations, Knijff aimed “to isolate them [subjects] from their surroundings and daily lives, and focus their attention to reveal their own ‘dream character.’” The result was an interesting mix of your usual dreams of becoming a performer, journalist, doctor, policeman, and the like to even being the fictional character Harry Potter!
Photographer’s full statement:
Over the past years, Sofie Knijff has travelled across South Africa, India, Mali, Brazil, Iceland and Greenland to portray children and their fantasy worlds & dreams. Her aim was to isolate them from their surroundings, and daily lives, and focus their attention to reveal their own “dream character”. By using the same backdrop, she created a stage on which the dreams could come to life. The challenge was to build a subtle and yet sustained level concentration to capture the moment of transformation. At the same time, she took images of the empty spaces in which the same children live; allowing to create a set of images where the inside and outside mirror and influence one another. The impact of time underpins this project. It is hard not to wonder what will become of childhood dreams and expectations.