Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another Me

‘Because … I am afraid what will happen if people know what I have gone through,and because I am a Muslim girl.' (17 year old subject of 'Hidden by the Burkha')

I was at Greenbelt Festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend and whilst meandering around the various tents and stalls I came accross this rather amazing photo exhibition tucked away in one corner of the site.

Although only small reproductions, the photographs displayed had an extraordinary power and presence that made me want to discover more about the project, the photographer and the women involved.

'Another Me' is the name of this exhibition, described as 'Transformations from pain to power'. The subjects, all girls and women aged from 8 to 25 years, are survivors of trafficking, rape or abandonment, or are the children of sex workers.

This unique project is the work of documentary photographer Achinto Bhadra and was conceived by the Terre des hommes Foundation. The images show women dressed in elaborate costumes, face paint and masks which stems from a need to protect their identities but also as an aid to psychological transformation as they reveal hidden facets of their inner selves.

'Achinto's portrait's record trafficking survivors' imaginative visions of themselves as human, animistic and divine beings of power, love, revenge and freedom.' (Another Me website)

My favourite pictures are 'God' 'Durga, The Mother Goddess' and 'The Clown' but each photograph is beautiful from the vivid colours of the costumes to the poignancy of the stories that acompany each image.

To see all of the images and find out more about the project check out their website by clicking here

Photograph: Hidden by the Burkha by Achinto Bhadra from>

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