Inside Out Project explanation
Inside Out is a documentary project that gives an insight into the world of people who were born in the wrong body.
What is the project about?
I've known Robin for eight years, as long as I live in the Netherlands. When I first met her, she seemed an ordinary girl of 11 years old. But a year later, I heard that she was often bullied at school because many children found her an outsider. She went to another school, but that was not an improvement, she started to exhibit problematic behavior, was unruly and started drinking and smoking. After much talking, it became clear to everyone that Robin thought she was born in the wrong body. Eventually she convinced her parents that she wanted to have a sex change operation.
Why I made this project?
I became interested in this subject because the transformation of a girl's body in a boy's body was an unknown phenomenon for me. But it can happen in your immediate environment, even in your own family and without any cause. In addition, I found the subject bullying important. Even in the tolerant Netherlands, many children and adult people harassed on a daily basis because of their otherness. These two issues were my motive to make this documentary photo project and thereby put these issues on the agenda. If my project can change of behavior of a few people, it is already a success for me.
The final shape of my project is the result of 3 years of work. I've followed Robin in the hospital, at school, in the gym, at home and at work. I've done interviews with friends and relatives of several generations. Using photographs and interviews, I would involve the transformation of Robin from girl to boy image and provide insight into the entire process of gender change. By this I want to contribute to the social acceptance of the phenomenon.
My exhibition will start in the Public Library in Amsterdam (OBA) from 5 November 2015, and will hereafter traveling along other cities. I will also make a book with the photos, interviews and extensive information.
Finally, I want to investigate whether this project is to make an application for education, so that future generations can grow up without prejudice.
I hope that with this project I can contribute to make our society more tolerant towards people who do not automatically fit the "male" or "female" role.