Alfred Fried Photography Award 2015
Picture: Patricia Willocq – Fried Award 2015
The reality of peace is the result of power, repression, intolerance, violence, death and destruction, the result of sententious words, hypocritically declared intentions, bilateral laws, glib agreements and declarations of peace often followed by diametrically opposed actions. Insofar Patricia Willocq’s strangely irritating series comes across as staged and kitschy. But wait! Willocq deliberately banks on irritation, on provocation. All women are wearing colourful festive clothes, they are cheerful and smile. But it is precisely this brash idyll that reveals the false bottom: all the women in the pictures of the Belgium-based photographer are victims of rape. Her exaggerated staging returns self-worth and dignity to these women. The series is like an African fairy tale, in which tormentors become protectors, good wins over bad. An analogy for the good life, with a right to childhood, schools, a profession, family, self-realization. Not a melancholy but a fierce humanitarian statement that peace is mainly about tolerance, respect and appreciation.
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