"My Invisible Truth"

by Lisbeth Luft
"tenho fé porque até no lixão nasce flor"

"I have faith because even in the dirt a flower grows"
the Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.

the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.

John 1:4-5
“A fé é muito importante para mim.
Como uma religião.
Fui criado na igreja católica e costumava seguir os ensinamentos bíblicos.
Mas agora eu só acredito em Deus e toda
a minha fé está nele. Sinto que a religião te aprisiona com coisas terrenas e você acaba como um peixe em um aquário. Enquanto que a fé pura estará sempre com você onde quer que você esteja. Acredito que a fé é o que dá sentido
à vida. É o que te mantém
vivo e sem ela você se sente morto. Talvez perdido seja mais apropriado...Deus está em
todo lugar. Dê uma olhada no oceano atrás de nós, é infinito. Tenho quase certeza de que nenhum cientista será capaz de medir todo o volume do oceano. Toda a natureza, com sua grandiosidade, com todo seu esplendor é a prova de
que Deus está aqui, cuidando de nós. E toda a minha fé está nele.”
the Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

Psalm 103:13
This project was initiated during my exchange in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where I was greatly impacted by a society in which faith played a central and significant role in the everyday life of the Brazilian population. After 6 months went by I felt the strong urge to continue this work by opening up my research to regions with different belief systems. Because of this I first spent several weeks in Morocco, and later on went to India to explore and document the topic of faith.
As this is an ongoing project I will not stop at this by simply covering Christianity, Islam and Hinduism but will continue to physically research further regions and societies.

I started this project because I wanted to share the beauty of faith I had found in these different societies around the world.
Through my work I want to give people a contemporary perspective on what faith looks like today.
I want to encourage the open conversation on this topic instead of keeping it a taboo, strictly connected to too many radical and exclusive opinions.
I want to highlight what our cultural dynamics say about us, as humans. How we want to see the invisible perhaps says more about us than how we explain the visible.
I believe that my responsibility as a photographer is to reflect the world around me and to question values formed by society, reframe stigmas and shift perspectives.

The older I get the more I realize the lack of unity in humanity. Right now we are collectively experiencing where this can lead to. How can we become one, without losing the beauty of our uniqueness and differences, rather than causing more and more reason for separation and isolation?
In the world we live in today, built upon different power structures and ideologies, with people of diversity in personality, cultural background and belief, are we able to find unity through and in faith?

Though faith on its own being quite general, we cannot ignore the personal and intimate tendencies of it. Through entering the personal spheres of the people I met while working on this project, I was able to gain trust and have that experience of sharing something dear to heart with one another.

Having people invite me into
their homes and share something so intimate with me as their
faith humbled me and showed
me the beauty of basic human relationship. Acceptance and respect played a big role during encountering “the other” while still sharing a common ground.
To me talking to someone with a personal faith, no matter in who
or what, gave me the sensation of togetherness and fellowship.
It made me feel understood while I was able to show an equal impartiality towards them.

Nevertheless, I see the tension this topic creates especially for the ones who are holding on to “their truth” by all means with no regard to “the other”. I see the proof of disunity all around me, throughout history, up to the present day. And yet, I believe that there is potential for unity within faith just as much as there is potential for unity in humanity as a whole. Seeing patterns in people living out their faith while travelling in different countries helped me to develop an eye for the patterns and similarities which bring us closer together as humans, without neglecting our differences which keep us unique.

In the end it will always
be a choice each one of us has to make. It is a choice of seeing what is around you, acknowledging what is different and beyond tolerating it, making the conscious choice of appreciating it.

Having different views of the
same idea is essential. This is the principle behind binocular vision. This is how humanity moves forward.
The problem sets in when the right eye wants the left eye to see things the exact same way. There is nothing wrong with different ideologies, it’s only wrong when you force those ideologies on others.
At the same time I believe that there is also nothing wrong with sharing and explaining your point of view. Only this way we can collectively grow and move forward.

Community becomes valuable right now during this pandemic.
We draw strength out of being with one another and more than ever we experience the impact separation and isolation have on our lives, mentally, physically and spiritually.

I believe that there is room for differences and uniqueness and that we do not have to, and should not be the same in order to coexist in peace. Let us move from the simple
act of toleration, to the actual appreciation for one another

It starts right here.

Press play and keep following the indicators using your keyboard arrows to navigate.
“Faith is very important to me.
Like a religion.
I was raised in the catholic church and used to follow the biblical teachings. But now I only believe in God and all of my faith is with him. I feel like religion imprisons you in so many earthly things; you end up like a fish in an aquarium whereas just faith, it’s there, always, wherever you are.
I believe faith is what gives a meaning to life. It’s what keeps you alive and without it you feel dead.
lost is maybe more appropriate...God is everywhere. Take a look at the ocean behind us, it’s infinite. I’m almost sure that no scientist will ever be able to measure all the volume of the ocean.
All of nature, its greatness, its magnificence is proof that God is here, watching out for us.
So all of my faith rests with him.”

Tiago Valentino de Lima Gonçalves, 22
I think there is a lot of bravery in submitting to someone you cannot see.
I think there is a lot of strength in admitting that you are not in charge.
Now faith brings our hopes into reality
and becomes the foundation needed to acquire
the things we long for.

It is all the evidence required to prove
what is still unseen.

Hebrews 11:1
Faith: /feɪθ/


Belief or trust in something without proof
About one and a half years ago I was sitting in class when my mother sent a message in our family whats app that my father had just been diagnosed with stage 4 bone marrow cancer.
He had been to the hospital for a random check up and a few hours later he was told that if he had not come in, he would have most likely died within the next 10 days.
Out of nowhere without warning, like a punch right to the stomach that takes your breath away. Nobody saw it coming, nobody was prepared for it. We never are.

At that moment I realized that I had to make a decision. I could choose to let myself be overcome by fear and utter panic about loosing one of the most important people in my life, or I could make the decision to have faith for the impossible. Faith for a complete healing and restoration when humanly seen there was no such outcome.

Hope is a very powerful thing. It can make people endure enormous hardships and still be positive. It can also power you through those times when everything seems dark and nothing seems to go right. Hope is not a form of guarantee; it’s a form of energy, and very frequently that energy is strongest in circumstances that are very dark. - J.Berger
The older I got the more I realized that much of what influences us is invisible and this became the leading question in my work: In a world where we put so much importance on the visual aspect of our existence, what is our relationship with the invisible one? How does it affect us and how do we affect it?

Believing in someone greater than oneself shifts the perspective from me, myself and I to the substantial and omnipotent. The letting go of oneself as the most important being, stands however in strong contrast to the society we live in today, promoting gadgets and lifestyles which are solely focused on the reflection of ego, personal striving and benefit.

“My Invisible Truth” is a project reflecting the identity of humanity through its faith and trust in the unseen spiritual world. It displays the encounter of culture, community and the intimacy of an individual faith.

Through this work I want to explore the impact faith has today on the lives of individuals, as well as on entire communities around the world. This project aims to shine a different light on a world we cannot see, holding great potential to connect humanity on a larger scale by providing hope and unity.
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