The What I Be Project is a project started by photographer Steve Rosenfield in which people exemplify their insecurities. From February 23rd to the 28th, Steve set up in the SCC art gallery and the Brandeis community got involved. Funded by Hillel at Brandeis, co-sponsered by over 17 campus organizations and organized by Leah Newman and Emily Beker, the presence of the project at Brandeis has definitely made an impact on many people. The project was rated the #1 art story of 2014 in the Huffington Post and the Brandeis students who participated became part of Steve’s overall mission to open lines of communication, appreciate diversity with an open mind and heart and empower people. Check out the full description of the project, Brandeis images as well as so many others he has taken at the project’s website http://www.whatibeproject.com/. Her Campus Brandeis collected testimonies from some of the participants about what they achieved from the experience. All the photo credit goes to Steve for his amazing photography work!
Emily Beker ‘15: “For the longest time I have been looking at these images in awe and I had a serious desire to become a part of the project. I am so excited that it finally happened and we were able to make Brandeis a part of the amazing message Steve is trying to show through the project. Going into it, I did not anticipate coming out with that insecurity on my forehead and chest. To be honest, I don’t think it hit me with full impact until I saw the actual image. Now I constantly think about what my deepest insecurity is I don’t talk about and I want to become stronger than that.”
Jessica Star ‘17: “When Steve wrote my insecurity on me, I felt like I could finally take a breath. Ever since I can remember I have struggled with my confidence, and finally it was out there. I did not have to hide it, feel ashamed of it, or let it define me anymore. The amazing thing about this experience was that I stopped being afraid, and started telling people my story. I think that is what it was all about finding a way to express your insecurities, in the process learning that you are not alone, and that maybe one day someone will see your picture and realize they aren’t either”
Ruby Macsai-Goren ’18: “I found the experience to be incredibly empowering. Everyone has insecurities and sometimes it’s hard to realize that we are all the same in that way. No matter who we are or where we come from, we have something in common. I think Steve’s work helps us to show that being vulnerable isn’t a sign of weakness- it’s a sign of strength. While it was definitely nerve-racking to put myself out there so explicitly, I know it was worth it.”
Stephanie Anciro ’16: The What I Be project really challenged me to step out of my comfort zone. I knew that I’ve always struggled with my eczema and it wasn’t just strangers that looked at my in the streets oddly when referring to my skin. I could always tell that my family, classmates and so on always had these odd looks at me when they saw it even at its worse times. And I really felt how powerful this picture was after I, myself, first looked at it and thought, wow my skin IS really ugly and it took a bit to really accept the picture the way it was. It gave me the courage to step beyond my appearance and see the true meaning of what I had just done. I wasn’t just taking a picture, I was taking a stand against all those insults and looks from the past, in the present and those to come and really show that I am not my eczema and it will not hinder me in the things that I truly am and will become.
For more information on how to get in touch with Steve and to view the complete album of photos, go to http://www.whatibeproject.com/.