Navigating Selfhood With Peter Zelewski

London-based photographer Peter Zelewski trawled his hometown in search of mesmerizing twins for his extraordinary photo project ‘Alike but not Alike’.

Detroit born photographer Zelewski — who is best known for his critically acclaimed ‘People of London’ project — has taken his unique style of photography to the streets of London once again to capture the “similarities and differences” between sets of identical twins.

The bond between twins is unique, but ultimately a complex one. Developing at the same time in the same womb, their relationship is incomparable: a level of trust and companionship is formed that supersedes the relationships of even the closest of siblings. But with such close proximity naturally comes a multitude of questions surrounding identity, autonomy and self-hood.

Zelewski’s images provide us with individual narratives about the bond between twins. Subtle yet obvious differences can be seen in their moods, their facial expressions, the way they hold themselves and the poses they stand in. ‘Alike but not Alike’ highlights both the similarities and the stark differences, exploring through different generations of twins the tempestuous, lifelong connection. The series includes Sophie and Polly, a pair of monozygotic twins who are so similar they have nearly identical DNA fingerprints. The telepathic tendencies and closeness of the various sitters is further highlighted by sisters Chloe and Leah, who often find themselves finishing each other’s sentences and claim to even feel each other’s pain.

Traversing the boundaries between portrait and street photography, Zelewski has produced a series of deeply profound, dynamic images with ‘Alike but not Alike’. Taken over a three-year period, the project depicts a multi-generational, multi-national, richly diverse London. His photos are currently on show until 22nd May at the Hoxton Gallery, London.

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All images © Peter Zelewski

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