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Women Are Heroes, part of Parisian street photographer JR’s 28 Millimetres project, draws attention to oppressed women everywhere. Chronicling the lices of women from around the globe, from Cambodia to Brazil, London to Los Angeles, the film debuted at Cannes Film Festival and was released in France on January 12, 2011. It is always important to look for inspiration in the people who surround you!
Moro de Providencia is a place of which the name has become synonymous for violence in Rio de Janeiro. However the reason this favela located in the center of Rio appeared on television screens in August 2008 wasn’t the regular scenes of clashes between drug dealers and the police but to present the art exhibition Women.
In order to pay tribute to those who play an essential role in society but who are the primary victims of war, crime, rape and political or religious fanaticism, JR pasted huge photos of the faces and eyes of local women all over the outside of the favela, suddenly giving a female gaze to both the hill and the favela.
Here are some photos from the Women are Heroes project in the favelas of Brazil. Action dans la Favela Morro da Providência, Escalier, Rio de Janeiro, Brésil, 2008
The Women Are Heroes project has various steps in Africa, in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Sudan.
In 2008, JR went to Sierra Leone, to Freetown and Bo City. He did not try to understand the reasons or the protagonists of the conflicts. He just observed the women and understood that they wanted to share their pain as a way to heal their wounds. He took pictures and posted them in a place where they made sense.
Sierra-Leone, Bô City, Sierra Leone, 2008
In Jaipur, he pastes huge white and sticky stencils to catch the dust and the colors within the context of Holi fest.
Then eyes and gazes are revealed.
For Women Are Heroes, JR traveled to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Kenya, Brazil, India and Cambodia to seek out women struggling in their everyday lives and, in his words, “to take their stories around the world”. Pasting mural-size portraits on the sides of buildings, on trains, and on bridges, he brings a haunting human presence to harsh environments of social conflict.