“Sona is celebrating Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, and among the most spectacular gatherings I witnessed in my travels. A time to forgive and to be forgiven, Holi marks the coming of spring, when good triumphs over evil.”
Omo Valley, Ethiopia
“With the high temperatures here, nudity is not unusual. Her tribe is called the Daasanach and they have lived in isolation for generations.”
Wakhan Corridor, Afghanistan
“She was working in the field in one of the most remote places of the world. The people and the natural surroundings are beautiful, but life is so harsh. The violent conflicts that have plagued Afghanistan for the past 40 years never reached her village but were never far away, and made it impossible for her to improve her life.”
“This photo was taken just before her performance in a traditional dance.”
“I met Imane at an art exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, her favorite place to dream, before she had to leave for a job interview. She is studying art at a university and also works in three restaurants and does some babysitting to support herself. But she wants to someday have an art gallery, one that will bring together artists from different cultures. She has African and European roots and loves the diversity of the world.”
“She’s wearing a deel, which is a traditional outfit commonly seen in Mongolia.”
“Anais has a Malian mother and a French father. When she travels to Mali, people consider her to be white. When she’s in Europe, she’s seen as black. But Anais says she feels both African and European, even if on any given day her clothing expresses a particular part of her heritage.”
“On a normal day, Eleni works in her family’s restaurant. But once a year, she dresses like this for Easter. It’s fascinating to see that, despite the fact that Greece is a modern country, it preserves many of its ancient traditions.”
New York, USA
“Abby and Angela are sisters with an Ethiopian mother and a Nigerian father. Both parents worked for the United Nations so the sisters grew up in six different countries, on three different continents. This gave them a broad perspective and allowed them to see where need was the greatest. After graduation, they both plan to move to Africa and put their knowledge in the service of that amazing continent. Their enthusiasm is inspiring.”
Sichuan Province, China
“Among the most graceful women I encountered, this Tibetan mother of two in a rural village looked like this the moment she opened her door to me; she had been cleaning her house, and yet she was wearing her jewelry. I found that Tibetan women display this kind of style in every moment of their lives.”
“You can’t imagine what a joyful woman Ania is. She has one of the most impressive stories I’ve ever heard. She was born without a right leg, in Poland, and her mother abandoned her in a hospital, begging the doctor to take care of her. At nineteen months old, she was adopted by a Belgian family, where she had a bright childhood.
Ramallah, Palestinian Territories
“Amal—her name means ‘hope’ in Arabic—is Palestinian, but had lived in Saudi Arabia from age five, when her family moved there.”
“Patricia and Rebecca are sisters. Their striking hair color caught my eye at the train station; it seemed magical, but I learned that they didn’t always love it as kids.”
“During my travels, I’ve met so many stunning women who told me they don’t feel beautiful at all. Influenced by the way the media depicts beauty, many people feel pressured to follow a certain standard of beauty. But that’s not the case with Pinar.
“Maria is a vegetable vendor in the market of her small town. She became shy as soon as she saw the camera.”
“While traveling from country to country, I was happy to see that women have joined public forces all over the world.”
The Atlas of Beauty
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