The Essential shows us the many ways in which our lives are unique, but also the similarities we share despite our differences. Since 2010 artists Martin and Inge Riebeek (NL) collect stories from people around the world for their video art project The Essential. In these stories people tell us what matters most to them in their lives. They share their honest answers to this main question: “what is the essence of your life”. This book is a celebration of a decade of work. It offers a selection of 225 video portraits with transcipts of the touching monologues and additional photos taken while creating The Essential.