About Scarlett


Scarlett Coten is a French photographer who explores the themes of identity, gender, and intimacy mainly through photographic portraiture. Coten’s work has been widely exhibited and recognised with numerous awards, including the Leica Oskar Barnack Award in 2016. In 2019, Plan américain has been shortlisted in the Sony World Photography Awards (Portraiture category), the PHmuseum Photography Grant, the Grand Prix ImageSingulières of documentary photography, and the Bourse du Musée Albert-Kahn.

Her art seeks to shed light on the power dynamics shared between photographers and their subjects. Though paying tribute to documentary photography, her photographs are staged in a collaboration with her subjects. This creative approach blurring fact and fiction, reveals an authentic and yet totally orchestrated encounter.

While #MeToo is galvanizing women to rethink their place in society, it is urgent to address what it means to be a man today.

The photographer started her exploration of the complexities of contemporary masculinity in the Arab World (Mectoub 2012/2016) well before this crucial topic became a global conversation, and more recently, the age of Trump inspired her to continue the next chapter, Plan américain, in the U.S.

Coten, by inviting men to pose for her, shakes up sexist and reductive visual stereotypes to reveal a broader, more inclusive concept of masculinity, questioning notions of gender and identity. This central question about who is looking at who, also considers the necessity of alternative viewpoints, the notion of otherness, and empower the female gaze.

This body of work, which is empathetic, seems today visionary. By revealing, from the Mediterranean Basin to the United States, the search for identity of these men photographed, the artist invites us to rethink notions of gender beyond our usual cultural and geographical borders, telling too the story of discrimination from a positive and innovative viewpoint.


Still alive, Actes Sud Publisher, France – 2009

Upcoming: Mectoub and Plan américain, Franco American co-publishing – 2020/21

Anthologies and Exhibition catalogs

Patriarchy is burning, Gang of Witches editions, France – 2019

Firecrackers: Female Photographers Now, Thames and Hudson, London – 2017

Second Biennal of the Photographers from the Contemporary Arab World, Institut du Monde Arabe – 2017, Silvana Editoriale– 2017

Photographers Sketchbooks, Thames and Hudson, London – 2014

Caravane(s), L’erre de rien Editions, France – 2014

Mediterranean landscapes, Macrosonges Editions, France – 2013

La photographie entre histoire et poésie, Editions Mazzotta, Photographies de la collection Fnac – 2002

More info: www.scarlettcoten.com

Age 51
Nationality French
Born in Paris, France
Based in Paris, France
Languages spoken English, French, Spanish
Specialisations Portrait, Contemporary Issues, Documentary

Other Networks

Current Location: France



  • Shortlisted Sony World Photography Awards, Professional competition’s Portraiture category
  • Finalist Main prize PHmuseum Photography Grant
  • Finalist Bourse du Musée Albert-Kahn
  • Finalist Grand Prix ImageSingulières de la photographie documentaire
  • Selected "Chico Hot Springs Portfolio Review"


  • Winner "TOP 50 Critical Mass"
  • Winner "Looking at You: Intimate Portraiture" PHOTO–EMPHASIS juried exhibition by Jess T Dugan
  • Winner "Chelsea International Photography Competition", Agora Gallery, New York
  • Selected "The New York Times Portfolio Review"


  • Shorlist "Felix Schoeller Photo Award" (Portrait Category)


  • Winner "Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2016"
  • Finalist "Head On Portrait Prize"
  • Shorlist POPCAP’16


  • Finalist "Prix Mentor"
  • Shorlist "Felix Schoeller Photo Award" (Portrait Category)

  • Finalist "Barcelona International Photography Award"


  • Finalist "Festival International de Foto de Cabo Verde"
  • Honorable Mention "Moscow International Foto Awards"
  • Winner "Guernsey Photography Festival"


  • Top 20 Medium Format, Professional Photographer of the Year
  • International Photography Award, 4 Honorables Mentions


  • PX3-Altered Images, 4 Honorables Mentions


  • International Photography Award, 4 Honorables Mentions


  • Nominated Book Category, New York Photography Festival


  • Winner "Beijing Photo Award" (Portrait Category)




Still alive / Actes sud


Photographers Sketchboook / Thames and Hudson, London


Female Photographers Now / Thames and Hudson, London