When I was about eleven I remember spending a silly amount of hours (on a hot day) in my room deciding whether to put on a pair of shorts because it was a hot day; that feeling of self consciousness that suddenly descended from no-where. I remember thinking deeply about the world I lived in. These hopes and fears shaped the adult I was to become. At that age I had left young childhood behind and I was on the cusp of adolescence, where little comments and criticisms had a huge impact on my malleable brain.
Today I notice girls of this age are often marketed to as ‘tweens’ and seen as a group. They become invisible as individuals. I wanted to hear what they had to say about themselves and the world they live in. What would they choose to wear and how they would choose to present them selves if given the choice ? I was curious about these girls on the cusp of young adulthood, with so many more pressures on their shoulders than I had at their age, so I have spent time taking photographic portraits and interviewing girls between 10 and 12. Having such clear memories of that age myself I wanted to find out what it is like for girls now. I gave them the same set instructions. Come to the portrait sitting in the clothes of your choice, not your parent’s or caregiver. After the portrait sitting I interviewed them with the same set of questions.
The series has so far been exhibited in galleries. As well as the portraits there is a soundscape of the girls voices, (created with the edited interviews) weaving in and out of ambient music created by composer Graham Coatman. I am continuing this series with the aim to publish a book celebrating these amazing, fearless, fearful, brave, funny, smart, individuals. May they forever be so. Here are a few of these inbetween girls.
More info: carolynmendelsohnphoto.com
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