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Masculinities | Photographer: Chad States

Masculinities | Photographer: Chad States | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

“Growing up as a gay man in the U.S. I have always been aware of how men were supposed to act and I judged myself against these ideas. Masculinity was always something that was attractive to me but when I tried to unpack what made someone masculine I found it hard to define. Masculinity seemed based on relativity and shifted in different circumstances and cultures. I wanted to investigate how others defined their own masculinity to try to create touchstone for the term.”

 

“I found most of my subjects through Craigslist, posting in multiple areas to try to cast as wide a net as possible. I would simply ask the question, “Are you masculine?” in the heading of the post. I would then invite myself over to the respondents home to photograph them. We would meet for the first time as strangers which required a lot of trust on both their part and mine. The people who were then willing to go through with the project were a small fraction of those who actually responded.

 

“The structure of the project created a special circumstance in which those who were still willing to participate had a strong need to have their own masculinity confirmed by the photograph. I would collaborate with the subjects on making the photograph. They would decide what to wear as well as how they wanted to construct themselves for the camera. I used a 4×5 camera only taking about 8-10 shots per sitting, so the poses and choices are very intentional on part of the sitter. The quotations are pulled from email exchanges before the shoot in which I ask them to tell me why they think they are masculine.”-

Photo report's insight:

Philadelphia-based photographer Chad States explores how one defines masculinity for themselves in a series of portraits created over two years. The answers are intriguing, the images equally so. We recently asked him a few questions about the project, entitled Masculinities.


 


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SAPE | Photography Francesco Giusti

SAPE | Photography Francesco Giusti | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

Francesco Giusti says, ‘In Congo-Brazzaville SAPE is an old passion that has never stopped, not even during war years. At the arrival of the French in Congo at the beginning of 9oo, the myth of elegance was born among young people working for the settlers. In 1922, Andre Grenard Matsoua, well-known for his resistance to the settlers, was the first Congolese to come back from Paris well dressed like a true French “Monsieur”, and greatly admired by all his fellow citizens. Today’s members of the SAPE consider themselves as artists and are respected and admired by the whole community.

 

The members of the SAPE take a touch of glamor into their humble environment with their refined style and faultless clothes. Everyone has his own repertory of gestures, marking him from all the others. Elegance is not the only important character. In fact, a true member of the SAPE is a gentleman and a pacifist. Every weekend the members of the SAPE, with their eccentric and amusing nicknames, gather in bars and fashionable dancing halls and parade in the streets among amused children and the applause of passers-by. These extemporized and spontaneous parades are the expression of a urban culture looking for new reference parameters and codes such as non-violence and elegance. They reflect the wish of young people in particular not to be left apart by society’.

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