One of the most enticing things about photography is its ability to address all areas of the World. Photography, unlike other art subjects, doesn't often get caught up in questioning its own existence. Often the best photographers were not people who set out their academic careers focus solely on photography. In many cases the people that fall into photography and draw on past experiences to influence their photography produce the best work.
For Spanish photographer Alejandra Carles-Tolra the inspiration drawn upon is from studying Sociology prior to photography. Alejandra is interested in learning about people and their communities who exert song identities. Using photography to study the relationships created between the individual and the group identities; and how one shapes the other.
Hit the jump to see the rest of Alejandra’s series.
‘The Bears’ is a series of work focused on the woman’s rugby team at Browns University. Being in a constant intellectually exigent environment these students have also chosen to join a sports team that is extremely physically demanding. Joining this team will push the students to their limits as athletes, both mentally and physically.
Alejandra is interested in portraying the students with a broader understanding of their group identity, demystifying the common depiction of girls who play rugby as a masculine stereotype. Questioning what it is to be a ‘rugby girl’ Alejandra points out that the identities formed here are far more complex than a overruling label.
Being described as a sport of ‘elegant violence’, Alejandra looks at the dualities created by this community: violence and grace, weakness and strength, masculine and feminine. Alejandra articulates this in the series through contrasting images of the women in graceful lifts, violent scrums alongside some isolated portraiture, inviting us to really assess the identities exerted by the women’s rugby team.
Alejandra teaches photography at various institutions after receiving her MFA in photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work has gained a lot of exposure including the New York Photo festival, CNN, Photo Centre NW in Seattle and Valid Foto BCN Gallery in Barcelona. If you want to check out some more of her work you can find it here.