Gaijin


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David 'Takashi' Favrod was born in Kobe, Japan, of a Japanese mother and a Swiss father. Divided between two cultures, he grew up in Switzerland and was mainly brought up by his mother who taught him her principles and her culture. When he was 18, he asked for double nationality at the Japanese embassy, but they refused, because it is only given to Japanese women who wish to obtain their husband's nationality. "For a Swiss, I am a Japanese and for a Japanese I am a Swiss or rather a gaijin." (Gaijin is a Japanese word meaning 'the foreigner'). It is from this feeling of rejection and also from a desire to prove that he is as Japanese as he is Swiss that this work was created. Gaijin is a fictional narrative, a tool for Favrod's quest for identity, where self-portraits imply an intimate and solitary relationship with the self. Favrod's aim is to create his own Japan in Switzerland - from memories of journeys when he was small, his mother's stories, popular and traditional culture and his grandparents' war narratives.

Gaijin was announced as one of the finalists of burn magazine's Emerging Photographer Fund (EPF) for 2013, and was featured in GUP#39, the Utopia issue.


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