What We’ll All Look Like In 2060

Photographer Cyjo‘s “Mixed Blood” portraits make a frank, sweeping statement about the evolution of ethnic identity–and in particular, the melting-pot that is our families.

Taken from 2010 to 2013 in New York and Beijing, these photographs reveal how the average person is likely to look in the future. What are we, then, if we don’t hew to the traditional cultural and visual cues we’ve longed allowed to define us? Perhaps Cyjo is saying that by marrying outside our race, we defy antiquated racial categories and in fact undermine them altogether. We’ll no longer be literally black, white, or yellow, and our sensibilities won’t be figuratively compartmentalized, either.

There’s no doubt this is our future. In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau started letting respondents identify themselves as more than one race. And 6.8 million people did so. By 2010, 9 million people had identified themselves as mixed-race–a 32% increase from 2000. Since the definition of race is itself a social construct–geneticists say it has no basis in biology–Cyjo’s series reminds us how futile such labels really are today. (College application forms are a subject for another day.)

Understanding and being proud of your ancestry is, and always has been, important to the way we construct our identities, but when you think about how diverse we really are–consider the James’s child, pictured here and identified as American Indian, Chinese, Dutch, English, Filipino, German, Irish, Japanese, and Prussian–the absurdity of organizing people around a concept as simplistic as race is abundantly clear.

[H/T Slate]CD