For the last 10 days French-born, Paris-based photographer Charlene Le Du lived and worked at Brussels’ Le Kabinet Photo as part of a residency project. After exploring what it means to be homosexual as a woman in China, she now turned her lens towards the lesbian community in Brussels, an intimate and sensitive series that you can discover this Saturday at Le Kabinet.
Charlene’s photography approach is a mixture of experimentation and research, diving deep into the worlds she investigates. In China, she worked together with a translator, enabling her to get first-hand accounts of the codes, everyday life and different degrees of liberty Chinese Lesbians experience, creating a level of understanding that shines through in her captivating portraits. For the photographed women the photo sessions signified a coming-out of sorts in some cases, communicating their true sexuality for the first time to the outside world. “My family puts a lot of pressure on me. At the moment I am letting my hair grow for my wedding. It’s been one year that I pretend to have a relationship with a man I met on the internet”, one of them told Charlene.
In Belgium, the situation is of course a very different one. While the idea is again to explore the codes of feminine homosexuality in a new environment, the liberty we experience here in Europe makes this a much more light-hearted affair. “I organised an apero for girls and women who are part of the lesbian community here in Brussels, without wanting to insist too much on the fact that they are homosexual”, Charlene explains, adding: “I wanted to capture them as human beings in a relaxed atmosphere.”
The French photographer presents her images together with text-based elements along a “red string”, an expression that not only means to follow a leading theme in French, but also references a Chinese legend about destiny. You can discover the captivating result of Charlene’s work tonight at Le Kabinet photo, together with photographs by Vincen Beeckman, Ameer Jbara, Catherine Antoine, Hakan Simsek, Hadrien Duré, and Beata Szparagowska.
Saturday, 18 February, 18-22h00
Le Kabinet Photo, 211 Avenue de la Reine, 1000 Brussels