One again, a master piece by, Pep Bonet.
Illustrating with a unique perspective on the life of transexuals in Brazil. A shaded view, maybe, but ought to be looked at.
More picture on ‘this’ project.
Transgender political activism in Brazil only began in the 1990s, as a result of the AIDS epidemic, in contrast to gay and lesbian mobilization for equal rights which dates back to the 1970s. Transgender people have been less successful than gay men and lesbians in gaining any form of public acceptance and legal rights.
There are relatively few activist groups in Brazil that encompass the whole range of alternative sexualities and genders. Within these mixed groups, transsexuals tend to distinguish themselves from transvestites, hence the increasing use of the term “GLBTT”–Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transvestite, and Transsexual.
The dire political and social situation of transgender people in Brazil could gradually be alleviated if more transgender people qualified as doctors, lawyers, and other professionals. However, in addition to the discrimination that limits their education, most transvestites seem unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to obtain higher education. They seem to believe that to do so would also mean sacrificing the most important years of their lives as beautiful women.
Unlike female sex workers, who have a range of professional options available to them, transgender sex workers often feel they have no options. Many see prostitution as the price they pay for choosing to transform. Moreover, whereas female sex workers have a wide range of options within the profession–the street, various types of nightclubs and brothels, advertising in newspapers and on the Internet–transvestites generally work the streets and low-end brothels, known as “privés.”
Transvestites’ clients are generally men who appear as being “straight” in society. Many, if not most, are married. Contrary to what one might expect, in the majority of instances, the transvestite sex worker performs the active role in sexual intercourse, the male client assuming the passive, receptive role.
In these instances, the cafetina functions as a parent figure, especially if, as is often the case, the transvestite has effectively been expelled from her family, usually at an early age. In these relationships, the cafetina is referred to as the Madrinha (Godmother) and the transvestite considers herself a filha (daughter).
Crucial to whether her transvestites will be guided towards or away from criminal behavior and drug abuse is the character and outlook of the cafetina.
Transvestites are often sent by cafetinas in the central, north, and northeastern state capitals to their counterparts in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro where they work the streets, take massive doses of hormones, and have their bodies transformed by silicone pumping, breast implants, and other plastic surgery. They are then sent on to other cafetinas based in Europe, principally Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and Portugal.
The entire process of travelling to and working in Europe is organized by the cafetinas. The transvestite typically flies to a country that is not her final destination and then enters the final destination clandestinely. Thereafter, the Brazilian cafetina’s European counterpart arranges for accommodation and work, which, depending on the country or region may be on the street or in a brothel.
If the transvestite is unable to pay for the pumping, plastic surgery, and transport to Europe, she may be financed by the cafetinas. Effective interest rates vary, but they are always excessive.
Once the loans have been paid, the transvestite is free and is not tied to a particular cafetina structure. The transvestite who manages not to become addicted to narcotics or to be infected by HIV and to steer clear of violence stands a reasonable chance of returning to Brazil with enough money to purchase a house and a car. They frequently also send money to the same parents who rejected them.
Silicone pumping, by which buttocks, legs, and sometimes breasts and faces are transformed, is a staple of many transvestites’ lives,
AIDS experts believe that a significant hidden route of transmission of AIDS in Brazil is through transgender prostitution: the transvestite passes HIV to the client and the client in turn passes the virus to his wife or partner. In Brazil most new HIV infections occur in young gay and heterosexual couples.
Transgender prostitutes working the streets are routinely subject to violence from the police, clients, passers-by, and sometimes, from pimps. Such violence includes beatings, intimidation, torture, and shootings.
In some cases the violence is random and indiscriminate. Some groups of men consider it fun to beat up transvestites or conduct drive-by shootings. Similarly, some individual clients indulge in sadistic behaviour.
In Brazil, there are two kinds of pimps: male pimps, known as cafetões; and transvestite pimps, known as cafetinas. Cafetões are generally low-level drug dealers. Cafetinas run boarding houses for transvestites.
Especially in the major cities, all prostitutes who work the streets are required to pay a pimping fee. This is generally a fixed weekly fee that buys the right to work a particular area where the pimp in question has rights. In return for the fee, the pimp confers protection from harassment from other pimps and, in principle, from the police. Female sex workers pay the fee to cafetões. Transvestites pay the fee either to a cafetão or to a cafetina who has street rights.
Many transvestites live in houses run by cafetinas. The cafetina charges a daily fee for board and lodging.
Whereas the relationship between the sex worker and the cafetão is essentially based on fear and intimidation, the relationship between the sex worker and the cafetina is often quite different. In many cases the cafetina provides a significant level of guidance and emotional support, especially when the transvestite has moved from a distant region to the major cities of São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro.
Especially those who engage in sex work. Some transvestites become specialists, known as bombardeiras (pumpers), in pumping industrial silicone into the bodies of other transgender people.
There are a number of adverse effects of silicone pumping, including silicone dropping down into the ankles and feet, the immune system’s rejection of silicone, and the risk of silicone entering the bloodstream or vital organs.
Breast implants and facial surgery are generally performed by licensed (and also possibly unlicensed) plastic surgeons who specialize exclusively in attending transgender people.
The deep structural social problems faced by the poor in Brazil, combined with the isolation and discrimination encountered by transgender people, conspire against their attainment of the most basic human and legal rights.
There are a number of NGOs and federal, state, and municipal government agencies that offer various forms of advice and assistance to transgender people, mostly as part of STD/AIDS prevention and assistance programs.
The combined effects of discrimination, humiliation, lack of education, and isolation from mainstream society place enormous emotional strain on Brazil’s transgender people, especially those who earn their living as sex workers.
The pressures to succumb to drug abuse and criminality are enormous, but transgender people are also especially vulnerable to contracting AIDS and to falling into cynicism and despair. Avoiding these pitfalls demands remarkable courage and strength of character.
© Pep Bonet
.. and there among all of us, stand flashing individuals, full of talent and things to share. They create and we observe in delight.
I got to know about Jatinder thru GT1588, a initiative to bring to light the awe-inspiring history, traditions and teachings of the Sikhs and Punjabi culture.
The work of Jatinder Singh Durhailay communicates the essence of a mystical India. He combines music, art and fashion to share his world. Here, the West and East meet and splash into a canvas of colorful aesthetics.
Emily Barletta is an artist from New York.
She studied fibre arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art – MICA.
Her work is primarily fibre based but also incorporates a variety of other materials.
Much of her inspiration comes from nature, using organic forms and structures which resemble sea creatures of strange plants. however, her works also have a surreal quality that comes from the strange combination of materials and imaginary forms. (Information from: Design Boom)
Bellow is my favorite set of work with paper and thread.
Andrea Tonellotto, Italian Photographer. A polaroid user.
With hard work and persistence the Impossible Project‘ has extended the life of analog photography to the creative field, opening new possibilities to experience photography as many out there used to know.
Andrea uses polaroids to capture structures in the absence of man as an actor, but his presence as a designer, as a user. Lights, shadows, geometric and abstract figures. They are landscapes and urban details.
His intention is to propose a world that seems unreal.
These are some of them:
As he presented his work I didn’t ceased to be amazed, not only for the high quality in the visual representation, but for a far more important reason; In each of his projects I met a world and the person behind them.
His work is about exploring the boundaries of decompressing information. Using technology as a tool to tell stories and to make of our daily web relation a less superficial experience. Platforms in which we can connect to each other in a more authentic and deeper way.
His curiosity in human interrelations and technology has taken him to create beautiful projects that acquaint you with “unknown” information. Each story/project leaving a message that we capture through a unique online experience.
I dont know Jonathan, but what he has left for me to learn is enough to inspire my personal research in genuine creative expression.
Some of my favorites projects are:
BALLOONS OF BHUTAN
In Bhutan they use “Gross National Happiness to measure their socio-economic prosperity (instead of the wide-world method used of “Gross National Product”).
Jonathan documented during 2 weeks 117 different people to whom he asked different questions regarding happiness and to measure their level of happiness from 1-10 and inflating balloons accordingly.
The result of how he puts this project together is quiet stunning.
THE WHALE HUNT
9 days of taking pictures every 5 mins to document the life with an Inupiat Eskimos family in Barrow, Alaska, in the time of the whale hunt. The custom tradition for providing food for the whole year.
When Jonathan turned 30, he started a simple ritual of taking one photo a day and posting it online along with a short story. He continued this for 440 days, producing a portrait of his life at 30.
What we see in the pictures are a small (or big) window to his life and his vision of life then.
Listen to him talk at TED:
I met Lucy at OFFF Barcelona this year.
She was soft and delicate and had a power to make us all dream.
Lucy Mcrae calls her self a body architect, one who invents and builds structures around the body that re-shape the human silhouette. Provocative and often grotesquely beautiful imagery that suggests a new breed existing in an alternate world.
Every project is beauty and it’s part of it’s own world.
Visit her website to learn more about them.
Liquid Experiment - Chlorophyll Skin is a short film experimenting with color, movement, absorption and the body made for Amsterdam Fashion Week.
Lucyandbart is a collaboration between Lucy McRae and Bart Hess described as an instinctual stalking of fashion, architecture, performance and the body.
They work in a primitive and limitless way creating future human shapes
Swallowable Parfum is an artistic provocation that sets entirely new ground in the science of human instinct. This cosmetic capsule works from the inside out; fragrance molecules are excreted through the skin’s surface during perspiration, leaving droplets on the skin that emanate a unique odor. Once absorbed, the capsule enables the skin to become a platform, an atomizer, a biologically enhanced second skin synthesized directly from the natural processes of the body. The potency of scent is determined by each individual’s acclimatization to temperatures; to stress, exercise or sexual arousal.
Hansje van Halem is a Dutch Graphic Designer, based in Amsterdam.
She is known for her love of typography, and this is just some of it.
Pep Bonet, born in Spain in 1974.
A lot of his work focus on African issues, such as HIV/Aids, prostitution and magic rituals.
With many publications, books and exhibitions, his work speaks for itself.
” When shooting my portraits, I have been careful to vary the lights and backgrounds so as to have more images of each of them. I have composed several series with a gradation of shades, from a very clear image to a contrasting one, as well as what I will call blind points, underexposed images.
By using soft lights and clear backgrounds, close to the model’s complexion, I am not very far from sketching. The face becomes less and less visible. On the contrary, by using a direct and contrasting light, with the model in a black background, I am not far from sculpting, then materializing more. I have also made use of half-light and underexposition so that the albino’s aspect is totally altered, giving him back his African or Indian look which should have been his, but for this disease. For printing, I use very thin Japonese paper which I paste directly on the wall. Like a fresco, the paper disappears and only the photographed person is seen. To make use of contrast, I also print on ultra-bright glazed paper, a mirror reflecting the spectator’s image and the model’s. Each step of my photograph shooting is to be seen as a metaphor of what being an albino is, no melanin, affected by light, persecuted, early death. ” - Eric Nehr
“Peaux extrêmement blanches ou extrêmement noires, nuques inclinées, plissures, le regard ailleurs ou dedans, jamais le corps ou le visage ne sont là pour séduire ou raconter. Ils se tiennent, dans leur nudité, comme une pierre ou un ciel dans son mystère muet, au contact de la lumière.” - Félicia Atkinson
Today almost anyone can own an iphone and download applications like Instagram that allow you to ‘add’ filters to your photos that will give them a different ‘look’ or ‘feel’ to them.
It is criticized by some for the abuse of the filters, but used by most.
Regardless, 1 thought:
These are ordinary people that enjoy using their phone to take pictures of their daily observations and not professional Photographers.
Some of the results I find are quiet amazing.
Here are a few others that I enjoy following: