Reading Period: < 1 minute
Inner Journey is really a raw and introspective characterization of Harris’ experience as an autistic, non-binary, transgender performer, tracing their struggles along with mental illness, self-love and gender identity
“Growing upward, I did not know I had been autistic. Like many teenagers, I just wanted to feel accepted, ” writes Marvel Harris, the winner of this year’s MACK First Book Prize, in their artist’s statement. “I tried to fit in by mimicking social interactions and actions, but this was damaging plus exhausting in the long term. I had sacrificed a lot of my authenticity simply trying to survive. ”
Experiencing an eating disorder and depression, Harris began making self-portraits. “Photography taught me to manage emotions I was unable of adequately putting in to words, ” they explain. Inner Journey is a long-term project that explores Harris’ struggle with mental illness, self-love, and gender identity. Their series of self-portraits presents the raw insight into their actual physical and emotional transition, by means of tears, laughter, joy and struggle. As the winner of the year’s award, the work is going to be published by MACK afterwards this year.
“By sharing our experiences, I hope to help with an increased awareness of the issues surrounding gender identity and to participate in a more inclusive and understanding world. ”