Digital photography (Mae Hong Son – Thailand, 2009-2010)
A work devoted to ethnic tourism and life in the human zoos of northern Thailand.
I am as you want me to be. If you follow me, I flee. Then, as soon as you reach me, docile, I let you capture me. I do not offer any resistance. I give way. I surrender. I leave you to it.
I know I must not look you in the eyes. I don’t have to look you in the eyes. I have learnt. I do not do that. Leaving, you gave me a caress on the forehead, asking me to keep on sleeping. Do you see? I am sleeping.
There were smiles all round. Scattered on the tables, hanging from a door jamb, forgotten among the clothes to wash, among the bracelets and the puppets to sell. Crumpled up smiles among the dust of the road.
They aren’t smiles. Actually they are smiles with a woman behind. Smiles to put on when someone comes from outside. Smiles to take off, removing the rubber band, when he leaves again. Smiles to slip on and slip off. To lay down, to put back, and to take up again when necessary.
Giraffe women. People for the zoo. Bodies tampered with. Beauty in the stocks.