very personal project

as you don’t know – since i never really explained it here – i am currently in myhometown in brazil, working on the personal project for this school year. i decided i would “talk” about violence against women.

my wish was actually to start in sweden, but for practical reasons i was forced to come to brazil. so i decided to use this special time here (#kidding) to investigate this subject in my hometown, recife – and, as i predicted, the panorama is very “rich”.

i arrived late in april and started asking my girlfriends whether they knew someone who has been through violence, or if they themselves have been through it. and for my gigantic suprise, almost all of them (despite for 2 or 3) knew someone or have faced it. the thing was: i never knew it, because we simply don’t talk about it. and they obviously never knew that i was also part of the statistics, because i never talked about it as well.

so, then, i have found my subject matter: middle or upper class girls, highly educated, preferably white. and why is that? because i wanted to skip the profile of “women at risk” – which means, at least in brazil, poor, black and poorly educated women. that was the reason why i preferred to find characters among my friends, and not through NGOs (because NGOs work basically with that type of profile).

since then, i have photographed 5 girls, who have faced sexual and/or physical and/or psychological violence. so far, they are between 20 and 35 years old. i photographed them in recife and sao paulo and i will soon travel up north (to cities like natal and fortaleza), to photograph another girls. all of them have been abused by people they knew and trusted. all of them live in nice neighboorhoods, went to private schools, attended university, speak more than one language and have visited other countries or studied abroad.

my goal is help to erase the concept of “women at risk”. every girl is at risk for being a girl, and social class plays no role on the safety of women. and, at least in brazil, it doesn’t matter how educated you are. the aggressor is usually as educated or even better educated than the victim. it is not about level of education. it is about something else (and not just macho culture, that is kinda obvious, right?), which i still haven’t understood.