Through the Window
+April 21, 2021
Through the Window is a piece that reflects on the movement of people in the city as they visit the Jordan desert, seen through the gaze of the taxi drivers, who collect people's stories in their thousands of rides. Author Claudia Bouvier (@claudia.bouvier) unifies three different experiences from this perspective: the selfie-taking tourists with the contrasting image of women and girls, working children, and the drivers themselves.
When Claudia visited Jordan in 2019, she became interested in depicting some of the many faces Jordan has. Firstly, as a place considered to be the origin of humanity, and secondly, how this history contrasts with modern Jordan. The series portrays the Jordanians eyes, the experiences the people go through, whether it be economic, social, or cultural.
It all begins through the eyes of taxi drivers, the ones most knowledgeable about a place, its streets, people, and unique character, becoming expert habitants. Drivers take tourists from the comfortable hotel and the crowded city to the nothingness of the desert. As Claudia started to connect more with the drivers, who usually avoid the gaze of the passengers, the author started to know the people through the stories and knowledge of the drivers. The series portrays the places beyond the tourist attractions.
The second gaze Bouvier focuses on the different groups of women who transit through Jordan. The first group is the tourists, who, while wearing their traditional Hijab are embracing the selfie culture. The second group is the one seen among the visitors, the little joyful girls in school uniform. The author is especially interested in depicting the contrast between these two groups and portraying the different paths each woman experiences: the potential of girls who study and follow a traditional path or girls who study and will pursue a carrier; whilst observing the future of the girls in the present through the lives of the grownups who transit the same streets.
The last gaze Bouvier depicts is that of working boys, who in contrast with the girls, start working young to help their households. These boys, most likely, will form a family in the future and will keep on working until they are elderly.
Through the Window was built from many conversations in which the author connected with the subjects and helped create empathy with the observer. The approach Bouvier takes is being present and grounded while conversing. “My intention is to be able to open a window on the world, to be able to offer different points of view and ideas for reflection.”
Instead of answering questions, Claudia asks questions to generate a reflection moment for the viewer, like the reflections born while taking a cap and looking through the window.
Claudia Calderone (Claudia Bouvier) is a documentary photographer based in Italy. Initially, Claudia studied Molecular Biology but later focused on photography. Through her work, she talks about the conception of gender, discrimination, and human rights. She also focuses on migration from Wester Balkan Route and Integration. In 2017 Claudia collaborated with the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe, during the Wester Balkan Summit in Trieste. Her work has been exhibited in La vie delle Foto (2017), Casa Internazionale delle Donne (2018) and Biennale Donna (2019).