brother understood


I don’t know what it’s like to see a sibling at home or a hospital for the first time and a newborn passed around from one beaming face to the next. I met my brother at the Newark airport when he was 5, and I was 8. Not speaking the same language made introductions challenging, but he presented us with the only thing he had brought across the world—salad-shaped gummies—and I took that as a “hello” just the same. 

We didn’t grow up instinctively knowing the mannerisms of the other. Instead, this was something that was learned. The way he speaks with his hands, his upper lip extends over the bottom one, his hair gets darker in the winter, what makes him smile and what doesn’t—all of these are aspects of my brother’s personality that became apparent to me all at once. There is beauty in the fact that we are now experts of the other who was once a stranger. I know my brother’s face like I know my own. It is this unique and beautiful process of learning and building an understanding of a new family member that I wanted to capture in this photo collage series. 

Maureen Ferguson is a junior in architecture from Buffalo, New York. She is currently a design intern for an architecture firm and is excited to continue developing her skills in design. In her free time, Maureen loves listening to music, practicing photography, and spending as much time as she can with her friends and her dog.