Joelle Iseli: The intent of my photography body of works is to take the audience on an expedition beyond the current society they live in and show them some of the hidden wonders of the world.
I want to open a doorway to showcase the forgotten voices and give them a chance to speak out for themselves.
Over the last two years, I traveled to various countries – Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Switzerland, Spain, the Philippines and Indonesia.
I took the opportunity to build on my photography portfolio while preparing for my IB art exhibition. I attended an IB world boarding school in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, over the last three years and graduated this year in May with the full International Baccalaureate diploma.
My photographs revolve around the theme of ‘Cultural Identity’.
Thailand: I lived for a while with an indigenous hill tribe in the province of Mae Hong Song in the triangle of Burma, Laos and Thailand where I photographed and documented daily life and customs.
Spain: At the East coast of Spain, I attended a festival known as “Moros i Cristians” that commemorates every year the battles between the Moors and the Christians during a period known as Reconquista (from the 8th century through the 15th century).
Vietnam: Documenting the busy day to day life in Ho Chi Minh City opened my eyes for the functioning chaos in this great city.
Switzerland: Showcasing the disconnection from each other in a first world society can be an eye opener. It is a strong contrast to see the many resources available at their disposal compared to third world countries that have much less but seem to be happier making the most of what they have.
Malaysia: Working in ‘Taman Megah’s Handicapped & Disabled Children’s Home’ in Kuala Lumpur impacted me deeply. In my portraits, I wanted to create a personal approach to an otherwise overwhelming topic regarding the disabled community. It was important to me to shine light on their inherent beauty that would open people’s heart and forgo prejudices, fear and judgement. These people are just like you and I in their innermost being.
Philippines: Visting Boracay, a world luxury tourist destination, was the complete opposite of my experience in Kuala Lumpur. The tranquility and sheer beauty of the scenery allowed for breathtaking photographs being taken.
Indonesia: Currently, I am doing volunteer work at a local school in the North of Bali, teaching English to village children on a daily basis, until my studies start in February 2017.
I carry on photographing people around the world, in light that one day the world will see that we’re not as different from each other as we think we are.
– I’m in the process of creating a platform to display my high end photographs. For now, I am mainly on Instagram. –
Musical Background: ‘TAKE THE CHANCE’ by Nicolai Heidlas