On Devotion – How care and capitalism are mutually exclusive.

For my visual poem, I had two parameters in mind: to work with my analogue camera and devote myself to a week of photography. Then my son got sick, compelling me to navigate through sickness, being present and creating. Devotion in a system of profit and hustle has no place, unless one puts energy into letting go.

Two weeks of caring about devotion.
Caring for devotion.

A visual poem about imperfection, unfinished pieces, failure and owning the sacred chaos.
house. fish. table. water. ghost.


I woke up every night.
As if I was on a boat.

The last geomagnetic pole reversal occurred about
780.000 years ago.

Devotion isn’t wildly exciting.
Latin roots: devovere.
To consecrate.
To call and make sacred.
Sacred and without
religious implications,
devotion is fulfilling,
soft and warm and easy.
A meal.
A beach.
Being taken care of.

night after night,
tired and sitting with my thoughts.
I cut out fish from an encyclopedia.

the fish were meant to complete
a painting I had abandoned years ago.

in the morning
my son found the aquatic silhouettes.
Now, they are his.
And we have a school of paper fish floating around in our home.

two big pastel-pink tables
between us.
now, in this photo, pink has turned white.
the echoes of white-bodied folks,
carriers of violence and carelessness.
Igniting discomfort.
Leaning into the transparency, I feel deep grief.
we are hurt and devoted to care.
we sit at tables together, sharing
discomfort and shame.
and love.

Care work is water work.
Liquids, fluids, juices, stems, soap.
drinking water flushing down the toilet –

this is not a game. Water is precious.
please do not squander it.
be careful with water.

Cherish water. It is sacred.
Children are more likely to be taken by a ghost.
We see them both. 


At night, we brush.
I walk. We dream.
Perspectives deliver
images of care which don’t reside anywhere.
gauges of no home.
silhouettes of ghosts.

Nina Berfelde is a self-taught photographer, camera woman, video artist and filmmaker. She holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and has worked over 15 years in the film industry. She is an experienced writer, director, editor and producer. Both her view of the world through the lens, as well as her body moving through space and time are tools to channel & integrate inner and outer worlds. Through this process she tells stories of possible and necessary reconciliation.

Scroll to Top