Gender stereotypes are present in every culture. Present but different.
Plan International is committed in actions to unlock the future of every child with a specific attention to girls with its campaign #UnlockThePowerOf Girls.
In order to catch the attention on gender issues in the communities where Plan is involved, we've started a process in 4 countries.
In these four countries (Benin, Ecuador, Cambodia and Belgium), we would interview young people with the same questions on gender equality. These interviews would be conducted by local young reporters. "Are you happy to be a boy, a girl? Why? How would You like things to be different? What can girls/boys do? What is difficult as a boy/girl in your community?..." We were not expecting "good answers" of course but our goal was rather to get a snapshot of gender issues' reality in these communities.
Working with young reporters was really interesting! (read more on the
blog). My job was to help these reporters in the process of the interviews and, of course, to take a portrait of each young girl or young boy we've met.
In my photographs, I really tried to express the gender issue as it appeared in the community, but I also wanted to go beyond that. I wanted that the individuality and the personality of each of the young girl/boy could be felt in the pictures. I wanted their strength and fears to appear as a watermark in the picture. As most of them were teenagers, I also wanted to express the fragility of this period of life, when everything is still possible. The doubts start to appear with the end of childhood, though, this fragility goes by with a new self-confidence.
The photographs and the interviews of these young people from four continents are the body of an exhibition produced by Plan International Belgium. The exhibition (in French and Dutch) will be shown during two years in different places in Belgium.
These photos and the testimonies of the young people on gender equality should raise the awareness of the visitors on gender issues, gender equality, which is still a major issue on all the continents!
All other information on the exhibition, the global project and Plan International can be found here.