The photographic exhibition Fatima XXXXXY, from the artist Paolo Titolo, was officially inaugurated on Wednesday at Havana’s Cuban Art Factory cultural center. The exhibition contains photographs starred by transsexual girls from different provinces of the island.
The Paolo´s lens pass through rooms, homes, and other quotidian scenarios of women that gave up part of her privacy to complete this catalogue.
Mariela Castro Espín, director of the Cuban National Center for Sexual Education (Cenesex) argued during the opening “This is a selection of some portraits that show what transsexual people can communicate from their experiences and realities”. The sexologist added, “The exhibition responds to a line of research leaded by Cenesex that aims to work for the social inclusion of these people”.
Fatima XXXXXY is an approach to the reality of trans women, and the way they build femininity according to stereotypes associated with female gender; mirrors, fan, long nails, and big earrings are among the most striking objects in the images. But these women go beyond of clichés and show herself with her couple and pets and guarded by religious, historic and cinematographic idols.
Castro Espín said: “Through these portraits we want that transsexual people show themselves as they wish to be seen by society. Somehow this exhibition attempts to show how the arts are at the service of society by the hand of science. This is our path of sensitizing Cuban people in relation to the need of collaborating to change attitudes.
Jorge Fernández pointed in the words of the catalogue that the poses of the Titolo´s models flow from themselves “as overexposure from individuality, as a trace of life of a constructed identity in absolute creativity”. He added that the photographer “knows very well how to ensemble the photographic planes for not to distract the spectator. He is not interested in discomposing the image, but prefers to be surprised”.
Some of the main characters of the portraits attended to the opening, as well as others from TransCuba Network; a coordinated space for CENESEX that assembles transsexual people. TransCuba works related issues to sexual health, sexual rights, and emphasize on the training of these people to facilitate their social inclusion.
While the media have tried to visualize the LGBTI community in both informative and dramatized programs, the problems of transsexual people are still ignored or poorly addressed by these ones, outlining characters with these features embedded in marginal areas. Stigma and discrimination faced by trans women and men begins in the family, continues at schools and ends at streets, hence the need to foster friendly scenarios for dialogue and inclusion.
The Titolo´s pictures are far away from discriminatory views, and show them away from the conditions of victims and sick persons to what they have been submitted by society and power.
The photographer said he felt very comfortable while he was working with his main characters, and said that every single portrait was born from the spontaneity of the women who inhabit in his photography.
In March, Fatima XXXXXY was exhibited at the Paris headquarters of the Brownstone Foundation as part of the Fourth International Symposium Transidentities, gender and culture, organized by the Scientific Association for Research Paper on the Unconscious and Impulse (TRIP), with the support of the Embassy of Cuba in France.
Paolo Titolo (Palermo, Sicily, 1958) is an Italian photographer. He published photographic reports from 1980 to 1986 in journals of his country and abroad. He worked for photojournalism agencies in Italy and Germany from 1987 to 1993, with numerous reports of social issues of many countries like: India, Germany, Italy, Venezuela, Tunisia, Cuba and Spain. In 2012, he resumed his photographic activities and started to document activities in order to promote and advocate the rights of LGBTI Cuban Community, leaded by the National Center for Sexual Education (Cenesex).
Taken from OnCuba http://bit.ly/1nL4UMK