In the town of Deauville in France, Romanian photographer Felicia Simion began a project based on her perceived otherness. In her photographic series ‘Not From Here’, she dons a second skin and undertakes a different style of self-portraiture.
“When I first arrived in Deauville, I didn’t know who I was in relation to the city,” explains Simion. “Was I a tourist? Was I an artist? Was I a woman? Was I Romanian? All I knew was that I was not from there.” Simion took her position as a stranger in the city, and expressed it through a “All I knew was that I was not from there.”strange/stranger binomial. Wearing three costumes that covered her entirely, she visited spaces around the city. From the beach to the famed Pompeian baths — the suited Simion noted the way in which the public interpreted her otherness: “Through my ‘second skin’ I could see the faces of the people who passed me — some smiling and perceiving me as a performer, while others — particularly the crowds — simply minding their own way. The costumes made me both visible and invisible.”