Yarden Hamber’s photography project exposes the woes of twinhood

Written by
Joy Bernard
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Israeli photographer and graphic designer Yarden Hamber faced a challenge that followed her around everywhere she went: being a twin sister. The 26-year-old artist was so disturbed by the impact it had on her sense of self, or be looked at by society without the prism of her twin-hood, to the point that this identity crisis seeped into her art. 

The stunning result is her photography project Twinhood, a thin and inspiring book of original photographs the artist took and developed of different pairs of twins who illustrate several psychological terms Hamber says are directly linked to being a twin and are all derived from a book on child development. 

Twins

© Yarden Hamber

Hamber, who did not study photography professionally, crafted Twinhood as the final project for her design studies at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design after taking expanded studies in Visual Communications. 

Through her lense, the artist aimed to bring into focus the symbiotic relationship that goes hand in hand with being a twin. Some of the terms she illustrated show the more painful elements of leading a life with your identical other such as DependencyLiving in the Shadow of a Mirrorand Comparisons. Others boast of the advantage of having such a close companion, for example The Secret Language

Hamber says that, in her experience, a lot of twins develop throughout their lives an unspoken language of empathy: shared glances and a nod of the head suffice for twins to convey to each other their innermost feelings. “I experienced this personally at some level but a pair of twins I shot really took me by surprise in the way this issue was expressed in their relationship. They are a pair of elderly women and their connection really moved me,” she relates. 

Twins

© Yarden Hamber

“When I interviewed them for the project,” she continues, “they told me a poignant anecdote that perfectly encapsulates the notion of the secret language. They said that one day one of them was sitting at work when she suddenly felt a sharp pain pulsing through her knee. Moments later, her twin sister called her and said she had an incident, fell down and her knee was seriously injured.” 

Hamber admits that while at first she thought of Twinhood as a final project for her university studies, today she understands that it took her on an “unexpected psychological journey.” 

“It changed my life,” she says. “Suddenly I could reach out to my twin sister and finally cope with the meaning of my own twinhood.” 

@yardenhamber

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