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November 11, 2010
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September 20, 2010
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June 16, 2010
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2014 may now be known as the so called transgender tipping point. But oakley oil rig polarized sunglasses brown frame brown lens save from a handful of ad campaigns, those who don't identify with gender norms are barely visible in the mainstream. So photographers like Laurence Philomne, a 23 year old based in Montreal, have taken matters into their own hands, and created images which represent their friends as they'd like to be seen. The result is the non binary portraitseries. Around 20 people from LA to Montreal, mainly Philomne's close friends and acquaintances, have taken part in the project so far. Philomne, whose work has been published in magazines including Teen Vogue and Elle Girl Korea, will exhibit the images as part of a two week show in Berlin in the Spring in a collaborationwith online arts platform Curated by Girls. "I wanted to make the kind of images that I want to see in the world and that I felt were missing," Philomne tells The Independent. "As a non binary person myself I feel like there's a huge lack of representation for people who fall outside of the gender binary in mainstream media and so that's kind of where the idea for this series came from." "Especially when it comes to photography, there's a sense that trans bodies tend to be tokenised especially by cis photographers, editors, and so on, who push their idea of what being trans is onto them. "I think in general when you're photographing people with a marginalised identity it's important to ask them how they want to be represented," she adds. "Giving agency to my subjects has made my photographic practice feel so much more important and positive for both parties." Before each shoot, Philomne asked the sitter to imagine their favourite version of themselves and how they would want to be represented. Philomne encouragedher subjects to dress however they wanted, so viewers could graspa sense of their personality. Some photos are shot in saccharine pastel colours and play on femininity, while others are shot in nature, although the sometimes harsh Canadian climate played a part in the logistics of the project, too. "Because of necessity, as its cold in Canada, most of the shoots have taken place in my studio. When it was warmer I did some of the shoots outside, like I shot my friend Hobbes at the skate park because we wanted to go with a skate girl vibe. Much like the clothing in the photos, the location is based on the person I'm photographing and where they want to be photographed." The best part of the process forPhilomneis not the shoot itself, but sharing the images with the subjects. "Everyone had a really positive reaction and it feels great to make imagery that has a positive impact on the subjects lives," sheadds. But while her subjects were pleased with the shots, their reactions were marred slightly by the prejudice of others. Highlighting how non binarypeople are still disregarded by many, Philomne adds:"Any time I make work that relates to gender identity I get a lot of hate from strangers because difference often brings in oakley oil rig polarized sunglasses transparent frame fire lens fear and hate but aside from that, for myself and the people involved I think it's been a really positive experience to create work that gives us both a sense of agency." Click the Adblock/Adblock Plus icon, which is to the right of your address bar. On Adblock click "Don't run on pages on this domain". If you are Private Browsing in Firefox, "Tracking Protection" may cause the adblock notice to show. It can be temporarily disabled by clicking the "shield" icon in the address bar.

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