This project calls to my mind the book The Help. Looking at these photos, I feel as though I know who are the respective givers and receivers of “help” just about as easily I would the characters in that book of Kathryn Stockett’s that I love so much.
An interesting photo project, called Lugar Común (Common Place), designed to disrupt our acceptance of established social hierarchies. The photographers, Justine Graham and Ruby Rumié, took pictures of 50 pairs of women — maids and their employers — located in Argentina, Chile, and Colombia.
To disrupt the hierarchy inherent in their relationship, Graham and Rumié had them dressed alike, without accessories, and sitting in identical poses. By doing so, they allowed both women to “…look at the camera with the same pride, with the same openness”. The viewer is not told which woman is which.
They also asked each pair to sit across from one another and look in each others’ eyes. Even though some had known each other for 30 years or more, Graham said that all of the pairs had trouble looking at each other in this way.