‘I Wish’: Powerful Portraits Capture Childhood Dreams That Never Came True

By
Share:

How many children dream of becoming sports stars, and how many of those dreams actually come true? With his 2012 I Wish series, Iraqi Kurdish photographer and filmmaker Jamal Penjweny captures the distance between fantasy and reality, in portraits of adults holding up photos of the athletes whose careers they once aspired to emulate.

“The man in the mountains wanted to become a champion swimmer but he was born in a place with no swimming pools, the man with the Bruce Lee photo took karate lessons and then became a Mullah, the man with the Ferrari photo always wanted to be a racecar driver — now he has a donkey and sells gasoline,” writes Penjweny. “Life is not like animation, you cannot paint anything you want. I made this project to give one moment when dreams can become reality, so each person can act out their dream even if they cannot fulfill it in real life.” See a selection of photos from the series (spotted via Design Taxi) in our gallery, and visit Penjweny’s website to learn more about his work.

Photo credit: Jamal Penjweny

Photo credit: Jamal Penjweny

Photo credit: Jamal Penjweny

Photo credit: Jamal Penjweny

Photo credit: Jamal Penjweny

Photo credit: Jamal Penjweny

Photo credit: Jamal Penjweny

Photo credit: Jamal Penjweny