Travelling through Wales, which has struggled with its identity since it lost its independence to Great Britain in the Middle Ages, Russian photographer Jana Romanova experimented with her own identity and tried to become Welsh, following the advice from local people.
In Claire Denis's short movie Vers Nancy French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy points out that the existence of ‘the other’ – a foreigner – can be considered as a condition for our own group identity. It allows us to feel a bond with our circle. Thus, meeting a stranger strengthens the identity of the community, our sense of belonging to a particular group of people.
Romanova has always been interested in how these kinds of mechanisms work, particularly in countries where the issue of national identity has received renewed attention in recent years. In her own country, it has caused people to reconsider their political positions, leading to conflicts even within families, and sometimes to migrate in search of a new collective identity.
Adopted Welsh is the first part of a larger project that will eventually cover several countries, which highlights the issues of community identity and of an individual trying to become part of that community.