Session 2 of Fellows talks at TED2014
Uldus Bakhtiozina, photographer + visual artist Uldus Bakhtiozina’s images are simultaneously ethereal, surreal, funny and ironic as they upend identity, gender and cultural stereotypes. Working with photography, the artist captures the essence of people’s hidden inner lives and internal conflicts. The softly lit images from her project Desperate Romantics are inspired by pre-Raphaelite paintings of the 19th century. In one image, a 12-year-old boy — a professional dancer — wears a Stormtrooper mask and a pink tutu. He doesn’t tell friends at school about his dancing, hiding his identity in order to be socially accepted.
In another image, a bearded bouncer named Nikita wears a collar of Barbie dolls, revealing his hidden vulnerability and romantic soul. “In Russia, it’s only acceptable for a man to look like an aggressive hulk,” says Uldus. And in a commentary on the culture of marriage in Russia, a self portrait depicts the 27-and-single Uldus standing outdoors in a wedding dress, her face obscured by a Mexican wrestling mask, “all desperate in my garden.” But irony is key, she says, preferring to motivate girls to be brave, fight for their goals and dreams, and to create magic.
Posted by: Karen Eng
Author: Karen Eng