What have you got to lose?
Many of us end up seeing very little of ourselves reflected in images that claim to represent. For some, we simply belong to groups not looked at, not the center of conversation. For others, there is an enormous gap between the facade that is reproduced and the version of us that is purportedly witnessed.
One of the ubiquitous approaches is to speak for oneself. To represent. After all, I know my own story better than anyone.
"What do I have to lose?" A question designed to feel supportive, whether or not it bolsters anyone. To spur in a worthy endeavor. But it shifts when put upon me from another. "What have you got to lose?"
There is actually tremendous vulnerability in making oneself visible, the center of focused observation. The question demeans, assumes that whatever it is you may hope to protect is somehow less than, unworthy. It diminishes whatever efforts are projected, as if the the effort demanded is somehow less than what I have to gain. Assumes my gains, however measured, are sufficient for someone such as I am. Despite vulnerability, these are artists who seek to reflect what is often left unseen.