American Girls and Their Adorable Mini-Me Dolls

New York-based photographer Ilona Szwarc takes an interesting look into the relationships between young girls and their American Girl dolls. In her series, aptly titled American Girls, the photographer unveils portraits of “girls with their sculptural representations” which is meant to give us a visual sense of each of their personalities. The series, which is not at all affiliated with or sponsored by Mattel (the toy makers), is both revealing of each child’s characteristics and ironically layered, asking the viewer to look deeper into the meaning behind this mimicking trend.

The American Girl line was initially introduced as an alternative to the sexualized figure represented in dolls, the “anti-Barbie” if you will. The idea behind each doll is that she is a reflection of a girl in America, whether she be a simple schoolgirl in a uniform or a limber gymnast in training. However, it is perhaps the girls that are echoing their dolls who appear to offer the “illusion of choice and individuality” through fashion and accessories.

Szwarc says, “The American Girl product defines and categorizes American girls- future American women- and that fact raises important questions about who gets represented and how. The branding behind the doll perpetuates domesticity and traditional gender roles. I examine how culture and society conditions gender and how it invents childhood. Gender becomes a performance that is mirrored in the performance of my subjects for the camera.”

Ilona Szwarc website
via [Visual News]

January 17, 2017

Former Industrialized Area in Belgium Transformed Into Futuristic Eco-Village

Belgian ecological designer Vincent Callebaut is a master of green sustainable architecture. With his new conceptual project, he creates yet another environmentally sensitive fantasy land, this time transforming Brussels’ historic Tour & Taxis. The resulting concept is a sleek, futuristic eco-village that any young professional would love to call home. As a former industrial site, Tour & Taxis was once a symbol of the golden age of Industrialization, and its approximately 100 acres (40 hectares)

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January 17, 2017

Liberating Portraits of Ballerinas Elegantly Dancing in the Streets of Cairo

Like many dance photographers, Mohamed Taher has a knack for beautifully capturing the body in motion. His interest in movement is evident in his Ballerinas of Cairo series, and the captivating collection of photos also serves a more poignant purpose: it helps women fight sexual harassment and reclaim the city’s streets. After learning about the Ballerina Project, an ongoing series that documents dancers in urban settings across the globe, Taher was inspired to carry out a similar undertaking in the Egyptian capital.

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