Noura Gauper

2018 - Ongoing

Presentation of the Swiss-Trans Project

Although gender dysphoria is better understood today, it remains a victim of misunderstanding and stigmatisation in a large part of the population. Photography has contributed to a stereotypical image of transgender people by associating them with unhealthy or negative) environments, when it has not fostered confusion with transvestites, androgynes, and even prostitutes and homosexuals. According to the most conservative estimates, Switzerland counts 24,000 men and women suffering from gender dysphoria. Far from fetishisation, the Swiss-Trans Project aims to show, through fifty portraits, transgender men and women in the process of developing their true gender identity, in order to promote their cause and bring them the recognition they seek in society. I came to be involved in the trans* world in December 2018 at the request of collaborating for the Swiss press. Given the unique characteristics of the subject in the context of photography, my desire to portrait these people grew rapidly. Often, these are people who have not been photographed during or after their transition, and the act of being photographed can be a difficult one. Helping these people to go beyond their fears in the process can lead to the exposure (or, unveiling, or, revelation) of their re-appropriated bodies, in a context where the images may convey conventional or idealised norms: this is what most interested me about this project. I seek here to portray the individuals in the stage they are in, closer to their gender identities, without cultivating ambiguity or voyeurism. I try to meet the individuals in their world and allow them to choose a space in which they feel comfortable and safe. The statements that accompany their portraits serve to highlight (or, accentuate) their identity, beyond the question of gender, to which each and every person can identify with.

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