invisibles
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(In)visibles by Chloé Chaudet & Zoé Smart
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How (In)visibles impacted 10'000 people through their photographic exhibitions

A public photo exhibition to give visibility to rainbow families and couples seen by more than 10'000 people !

One day, Zoë’s 6-year-old daughter came home from school with a question, "Mom, can two girls get married?" Zoë replied that many constellations of couples and families were possible. Her daughter’s response was: "But how come I never see them?" Zoë decided that action was needed to fight this lack of visibility.

On her side, Chloé realized that when she looks around in public spaces, she barely ever sees LGBTIQ+ couples holding hands, kissing or showing simple acts of tenderness. "As a pansexual woman, I want to feel free to take the hand of the person I love on the street without fear of receiving insults or worse", she said.

In May 2019, at a BØWIE Incubator event, Zoë meets Chloé. 

They discussed these themes and it is by merging their ideas - of LGBTIQ+ visibility in public space and awareness in schools - that “Projet (In)Visible dans l’espace public” is born. They then created an association, and found team members including Bruno Cabete who took the photos for the exhibition.

"We had no idea how to apply for funding or how to organize a project from A to Z! BØWIE was a springboard also thanks to the Award Ceremony which allowed us to find funders! The moral support given throughout the 6 months was also very much appreciated!"

They raised +20K CHF in order to complete the project and set up an exhibition in the public space in Geneva, in a park in the city center. 

Through the project, 21 couples & families were photographed and gave visibility to their love. Through testimonies, these people were able to express what it meant for them to be visible as partners or a family, in the public space as LGBTIQ+ people.

Anna, a participant of their photo exhibition will say: "I did it for my wife who once told me that she would have liked to see a campaign like this when she was growing up, to feel represented. I did it for a closeted LGBTIQ+ kid, so that he, she or they could see that their identity doesn't have to be hidden but can be celebrated. I did it to inscribe in the public retina another image of what a couple can be. Ultimately, I did it for myself."

School visits of the exhibition were organized in Geneva, so that other children like Zoë's daughter could have their questions answered. The project will be replicated by the team in Lausanne, another city in the french part of Switzerland.

Photos credits: Bruno Cabete


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