For three years, between 2007 and 2009, I was a sometime woman called Shauna. I inhabited the persona of a ladyboy. It all began in Siem Reap (Cambodia). I’d encountered and befriended a fascinating transgender community around the city’s red light district and I found myself thinking, what it would be like to be one of them?
I will always remember the first night I went out as Shauna, it felt like I was living the first night of a completely other life. I had to learn to do everything over as Shauna. Even simple, everyday things and actions felt alien and new. There were days I couldn’t recognise myself in the mirror. I often felt like I had become someone else completely. It was a strange and exhilarating time, and I’ve been changed by the experience in ways that I’m still continuing to discover.
I still think about Shauna from time to time, about all those chance encounters with so many who’d befriended, accepted and loved her for her. I still keep up with some of them. In recent years, I’ve gone back to Siem Reap, but it’s all different now. Friends have gone and moved on, the red light district’s been cleaned up, and now, it’s hard to find any of them walking along the streets…
by Sean Lee
doc! #29/30 (pp. 123-151)
To lie down on a mass confusion, on the uncertainties of the others is a way to find truce, to help the birth of new thoughts. To not lose the right direction whatever happens, is what should be wished to each person we care of… to ourselves. How many of us are conscious of our own journey?
We would rather be aware of our dismay than set which way to go, cause sooner or later it will change direction, it will end without notice.
When frenzy increases… it is more difficult to communicate something deep. Intense. Losing what once our cardinal points seemed to be, getting lost amongst the people, was a starting point.
doc! #29/30 (pp. 211-239)
doc! photo magazine presents:
I feel the need to investigate the stages of extreme human decay: physical, mental, and moral deterioration caused by life in the streets, by substance abuse, by living at the margins of what is considered normal or acceptable by our society. I want to register the slow dive towards the point of no return, in this way I’m forced to deal with my own fears and my own weaknesses. I try to catch dreams and intentions hidden behind the ruins of their bodies, damaged like battlefields. Here you die slowly and there is no burial…
by Alessio Ortu
doc! #29/30 (pp. 153-177)
Performers is an archive collating portraits of performance artists active worldwide. The goal of this series is to capture the personalities that are behind the artist. In most of the cases, the photographs were taken right after a performance with the purpose of retaining the energy that a live presentation imbues in the artist. Performing Grounds deals with the dynamically visual and accidental remains of human interventions in the public and private spaces. The visual impressions show the duality of the present, tense and absence, a dichotomy, which questions human reality. In this manner the photos want to give no answer, but put the proof of this reflection about our existence…
doc! #27/28 (pp. 167-187)
Trades and professional practices have always been intertwined with the Caste System in India. The tradition of professions and trades being passed down the line from father to son, continued for generations until recently when globalisation and rapid socioeconomic change resulted in the problem of enculturation and automation. At that point, many of the age-old practices faded out, while others are currently on their way to extinction. The modern Indian generation refuses to stick to their ancestral professions and trades. Global trends are constantly changing, therefore, in these frantic times, it’s very easy to forget our past, culture, and traditions. I am not opposed to modernisation, but at the same time, I want to slow things down and force one’s self to recognise and remember the beauty of these analog practices…
doc! #27/28 (pp. 111-139)
Stay originated from a personal need to understand and overcome traumatic events that transpired within my life. The events that initially triggered this body of work surrounded the rapid decline in health of both my grandparents from age-related conditions and their urgent need for medical intervention. During this period I compulsively documented my family; both as a cathartic exercise, and in a desperate effort to record my grandparents, having been reminded of their impending mortality. With this work I hope to present these experiences from a personal and emotive perspective whilst exploring universal themes such as aging, mortality, loss, and memory…
by Nina White
doc! #27/28 (pp. 141-165)
China Dolls forms a body of work that serves as a perspective on the young women of China, struggling to find their identity in their rapidly changing country. Caught in a transitory state, the women are now uprooting themselves from their former constraints. Up until the Communist Revolution, there was a prominent male domination in Chinese society while women maintained a subservient, dutiful role. Despite Mao Zedong lifting the oppression of women during the tumultuous revolution, women’s liberation in China has remained very much an ideology as Confucian culture and its strict obligatory gender roles remain deeply rooted among the people. In this series of portraits Daoust has sought to pay homage to these women who have long remained in the shadows. The duplicitous elements indicative of her work are evident; strength/weakness, fantasy/reality, beauty/vulgarity, past/future – her subjects wrestle with both notions settling somewhere in-between…
doc! #27/28 (pp. 91-109)