February 1, 2019

How can we really get to know one another?

Laura Mazza, 30

In the first twenty years of my life, I haven’t wondered about borders. The European Union made me feel part of an obvious international diversity. There was no mystery nor danger inside the European borders. Once you cross from a country to another, you do not feel different nor disconnected from anyone around you.
But not every border is the same. Some borders make you (feel) different.
I felt this way when I finally travelled to Asia. My skin, my face, my whole being felt out of place. I started comparing myself to people passing me on the street, I did not belong. To overcome this feeling, I shielded myself behind my lens, and began a journey of inclusion.
Photography is a powerful tool to connect with people around you. I take photographs to be able to speak all languages, and cross borders. To me, portrait photography is the best way to make contacts, and it has given me access to a brand new world of experiences and complicity, as portraits are the only testimony to the moment you have shared with your subject. In their eyes, I see evidence of the existence of a whole other human being.

Set of posed and candid portraits.

I am fascinated by the expression and reproduction of self in different ways, and I am interested in getting to know other cultures. Art is the most sublime expression of ideas and concepts, of human issues and questions; it is a voice when one’s voice is not heard; it is an answer when other answers are not available; it is inspiring, it is soothing, it is political.
In my personal case, it brings together my passions: photography, travelling, writing, architecture, human rights, sustainability, and permaculture. More than anything else, photography allows me to validate the existence of other people and other places.