Storytelling, in every media, is a powerful tool if used in the right way. It can draw the people's attention to issues that are distant from subjects they care about, but still don’t know enough about. It also takes on huge responsibility: it can raise awareness about certain topics that nowadays are creating debates and intense discussion. Storytelling can help to understand the world a bit better.
When looking at Gender Project by Veronique Charlotte, you will get caught up in a new world, made of hundreds of beautiful stories. Each of them reveals a small reality, that we’re all invited to join.
Veronique Charlotte is not just a photographer, she is also a creative art director and social activist visual artist. She is from Italy, but she has been working in London for years; she was published in different magazines, such as Vogue Italia, Another Magazine, Hunger TV Magazine. Charlotte has been focusing on the human body, exploring its presence and existence within society and the environment.
Her work is really intimist, based on the direct relationship between the artist and the subjects.
She started Gender Project in London as a collection of pictures and interviews of people from different backgrounds, who came together to share their vision and experiences. Everybody and every body is a complex and unique book, a source of anecdotes and stories, which deserve to be heard. Charlotte managed to establish a safe and confidential space in which the interviewees could feel free to talk about their understanding of identity and sexuality.
What does it mean being female and male? Can the body define who we are or whom we love? The questions that arise are never ending, as well as the answers.
Shot after shot, the participants were taken through a cathartic journey, in which they could be themselves without being judged. In front of the camera they poured out their dreams, hopes, disillusions, pain, joy, traumas. Each of them a universe to be discovered.
Storytelling can be liberating for the ones who need to open up to others; it works like a therapy session. Most of the conversations between the interviewees and Charlotte remain private, just a few are shown during the photography exhibition.
As she said, kindness was the key, the only approach which supported a deep level of emotions and personal shares.
Veronique's work has a positive impact on a social level, shedding more light on the relationship between human beings and their identities. The power of stories brings human beings close to each other; it’s key to access new dimensions and to help everybody overcome prejudices, biases and fears about what they don’t know. Once you learn about what’s different, you end up accepting and embracing it. The Gender Project can change people’s perspective about the issues it digs out and it can even encourage more individuals to come forward and share their stories too.
Gender Project has an itinerant soul. After the first exhibition in London, Veronique Charlotte organized another one in Milan; soon she is going to interview more people in Berlin, so make sure to catch her up!