NO LABELS (International Women’s Day 2014)

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An International Women’s Day message first published on Groundviewshttp://groundviews.org/2014/03/07/no-labels-international-womens-day-2014/

© Natalie Soysa | Shanika Perera | Timothy Barco 2014ImageImageImage
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

If there were no division, there would be no sides to be taken. We take stances as women’s organizations, LGBT collectives, racists, classists, as men as women. We call each other names and derogatory terms to differentiate ourselves from the ‘other’. We say its society that needs to change but we forget that we make up the very society that we blame.

While this campaign is not an attempt to belittle any of the honourable work that rights based organizations have been doing over the years, it is one that targets individuals to make a possible paradigm shift in their thinking process.

I’ve wanted to photograph Timothy Barco for a while now and when I finally got down to it, he opted to ‘dress up’ like this for the shoot. A father, husband, artiste and someone completely secure in his being, with his gender and sexuality; it got me thinking.

Why aren’t more people like this?

Women for instance, need to fight for their rights because we’ve opted to differentiate people based on gender. The concept of humanity is lost when we try to separate ourselves because of physical, external and biological reasons.

Designer Shanika Perera, came on board to give the images yet another dimension – a visual depiction of the labels we put on one another. I think there’s a thought process there that lends itself to more than a one-off campaign and I’m curious to see where it leads.

What it comes down to is simple: aren’t we are all people, merely expressing our existence differently?

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