Based on our genetic ancestry test results, we discovered we have over 3,000 DNA  relatives combined. We contacted all our new DNA relatives and invited them to  participate in the Belongingness project, exploring what identity is and how we are all  connected to one another.  

After contacting our relatives, we each booked and had 10 meetings with 10 different  DNA relatives of all ages and from all parts of the world in March 2021. Through these  online meetings and conversations that lasted for roughly an hour each, we looked to  learn more about our connection, why participants took the genetic test, what they were  looking for, and whether they had found what they were after. Together we talked  through the complexity of our interconnections that define part of our identities and  discovered new meanings to old ideas.

We used landmark points to represent the faces. The names of the participants and our DNA relatives are abbreviated for the purpose of anonymity. Everyone involved consented to the publication of these stories, images and  audio recordings.  

Raquel :: A from Puerto Rico , living in USA

A. and I share 1 segment of genome. She did the genetic test to find out if she did in fact have French blood but found out that she didn't. After all she has Portuguese blood. Her mother was born in Puerto Rico, but her family said that they had come from France, one day they even received a letter saying that they had inherited some land. A cousin came to France but found no documents from her family. We talked about the possibility that her grandparents went from Portugal to France and then to Puerto Rico. I told her that this migration route from Portugal to France is very common, there is a huge community of Portuguese people in France, mainly from the north of Portugal. And from her father's side, her grandparents went by boat from Corsica to Puerto Rico.  Taking this test was a great opportunity to solve this mystery and  place the missing pieces together . She told me that both sides of her family were very poor, and there are no official records to  learn more about her ancestors. 

A. lived in Puerto Rico until she married a Mexican. She lived there for 28 years and now lives in the USA. We talked about how mixed her children’s blood will be.

A. loves languages, new cultures and meeting new people. She also told me that she is not an artist but that she paints and does a lot of work with her hands, and that  bring her pleasure. She told me about her mother, who is 83 years old and vegan and gives 5 yoga classes a day. And I thought how I would love to grow old just like that… 

She asked me what it feels like to be an artist, when did I realise I wanted to be on stage and what it's been like to live artistically? I told her that at the age of 12 I performed in my first play and since then I never stopped. At the time it seemed like a fluke without ever imagining that it would continue until today. I told her that I feel that I don't stop, and that even when I'm asleep I'm working. My dreams at night tell me stories that will inevitably be a part of my artistic work. Sometimes I would like to know if I would know how to stop, if I would know how to stop having an artistic life…
form United States of America, living in United States of America