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Sidonie Hadoux: “A magical moment of sorority”

British Journal of Photography: How did Explorations begin? 

Sidonie Hadoux: The project started two years ago when I decided to turn the camera towards myself. It began as a self-portrait series; an introspection into my femininity. At the same time, I was spending more time alone in the north of France. I was enveloped in a sense of agony looking at the destruction and mutilation of the landscape. First, I photographed myself within these injured lands. Then, I quickly realised that this was just the first step in the project. I didn’t want to travel alone, so I invited friends to join me, and we ran naked among the waste dumps, caressing and reconciling with the land. It was a magical moment of sorority. 


BJP: How do the themes of ecology and gender play out within the series?

Hadoux: It’s a visual interpretation of the ecofeminist theory that capitalism prospers due to patriarchy. For centuries, men have been exploiting lands and bodies – particularly the bodies of women, sexual, gendered, and racialised minorities. In Explorations, realities are twisted to evoke a state of questioning about the world we are living in;  the nature of our current reality and our choice to adapt, change, or escape.

I chose to only photograph women. Women’s bodies, as racialized or queer bodies, have been used and exploited by white and cisgender men, just like the land itself. I didn’t need men in these photographs as they are already omnipresent through their shaping of the landscape, altered for industrial purposes.

BJP: What has the project taught you?

Hadoux: Self-confidence! I wouldn’t say this project is a form of therapy, but rather a deliverance of the thoughts, anxieties, dreams, fears and emotions that I had inside of me. It is my first personal and intimate project. This process taught me to trust my intuition, and to not turn away from expressing myself.

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