I wish I was not shy.
There is a constant pressure to come out of my shell, but even if I knew how to do so, it would not feel quite right. I want to believe that there is also something precious to be found inside. Instead of coming out, I decided to invite strangers in – through hand-written letters I hid in the park close to my home.
We met in my living room and engaged in a game of performing my personal fears, which I had written on small assignment cards. I knew that being the one who presses the shutter would give me a kind of control the stranger would not have, but I was willing to give up most of it.
The way I thought of our encounters is inspired by the German word Maskenfreiheit. It refers to the freedom that comes from wearing a mask. Setting up the camera and stepping in front of it feels like putting on a mask which allows me to act in a more honest way than I could ever be.
Shyness became my tool to make myself vulnerable and to invite the strangers to take part in it.
The goal of this game is not to overcome my fear, but to find a way to turn it into a strength.