A Proud Stance

© claudine doury

I took photo portraits of young women working in the textile sector. My goal was not to portray difficult working conditions or to show them at work. More than any of that, I wanted to know who really were the Turkish women behind all those sewing machines.

I generally question the world and particularly identity and gender. I concentrate on adolescence, portraying this very delicate and short path leading from childhood to adulthood. It is a time full of dreaming, of nostalgia, a time of blue feelings and attempts to imagine what to become in the future. Adolescence is for me the crossing of all what is possible. It is precisely the point where reality and fiction meet, and this is what interests me as a photographer. Trying to depict all the feelings of adolescence allows me to re-connect with mine at that age, and to give them some legitimacy at last.

At the beginning of all projects there is a lot of work. Part of it is to mentally imagine what it will be, draw mental sketches and prepare guides for my story. When I am at it I try to match what I see with what I had in mind, using reality as it is or adapting it to my purpose.

What surprised me the most when I went to the textile factory was to see the unbelievably proud stance of the young women who came from all over the country working there. What made them so beautiful in my eyes was their pride. This reminded me of the Flemish portraits we know from the 17th century. I am grateful to all the young women who posed so generously for me in these photographs.