Festival Pil’Ours 2019: St Gilles Croix de Vie
Meander down some cobbled streets, washing hanging from shuttered-window to shuttered-window, ponder what to have first – a beer at the café on the corner, or sit on the steps and have an ice-cream.
No, I’m not there, but the photos I’ve checked out of Saint-Gilles make me wish I was having a quintessential holiday stroll, and not least because Festival Pil’Ours is taking place there now.
Shutter Hub has pulled together an epic exhibition that I’m pleased as punch to be part of: 145 female photographers, 435 images, from across 15 different countries.
The exhibition runs 1 July – 31 August 2019.
If you are going to be around that area before the end of August please check it out.
It’s in the south of France, between Montpellier and Marseille, and a 20 minute drive from Arles. All details are on the Shutter Hub website.
Here are 4 of the photos I have in the exhibition, all shot for different projects.
The top two images are both from international NGO commissions, coincidentally both with people who use drugs.
The ‘pots and pans’ are from Nisha’s* house in Manipur, India, and the kitten is Mr. Archibald. He lives with his owners, Temo and Mariam, in Tbilisi Georgia.
When shooting for NGOs and charities, I like to photograph the details of people’s homes and the things they love, to share something of their life and personality.
Nisha was cooking lunch for her family when I arrived, stopping in between for a hit of heroin. I couldn’t show her face because drug use is highly stigmatised. When people in her area think of a ‘drug user’ they don’t think of a loving mother and grandmother – the idea was, without showing her face, to reduce stigma and discrimination by showing her family life.
Temo and wife Mariam live with his family while they save for their own place. They don’t have kids “yet” but are planning to. For the time being, the only ‘little-one’ they’re focused on is Mr. Archibald the kitten. Temo is living with Hepatitis B and C, he has treatment for one, but not the other. “I’m not being treated like a whole person,” he says. “I hope one day the government will treat everyone. I’d like to be able to protect our future child.”
Not a ‘girly-girl’
“Soon, when I’ve got bigger boobs and a higher voice, I think I’ll feel more comfortable in my skin.”
This is Bea. Winner of Miss Transgender UK 2017/18 – and so much more, and she’s already gorgeous as she is. It’s a photo from the ongoing project we’ve been collaborating on. There’s so much more to come on Bea’s story throughout this year… See a preview here.
Seat for one
I snapped this at a market in Tbilisi, Georgia.
It was towards the end of the day, and no doubt had painting of pomegranates or antique cups or wots-nots seated on it not long earlier, going by the rest of the fare on offer.
Just a minute prior though it was the market trader’s temporary seat. I photograph chairs everywhere. I love the aesthetic of a lone chair or chairs, but also what it tells you about human life and activity without any people in the frame. I’ve got a collection that I’ll publish soon, and then keep adding to…
They all tie with the theme of this year’s exhibition, ‘TIME TO THINK’.