Na Instagram profilu The Atlas Of Beauty Mihaela redovito objavljuje fotografije svog genijalnog projekta, a ondje je prati više od 200 tisuća ljudi
Mihaela Noroc, fotografkinja rodom iz Bugarske, posljednje četiri godine provela je putujući svijetom i fotografirajući žene iz raznih zemalja, a portreti koje je napravila pokazuju koliko se standardi ljepote razlikuju u različitim dijelovima svijeta te zašto bismo tu različitost trebali slaviti. I fotke su joj stvarno fascinantne.
That's me in Olinda, Brazil, a few days ago. During my travels around the world I had many challenges. There were a few hard moments when I just wanted to go home and have a comfortable life. But knowing that so many people, from so many parts of the world, follow The Atlas of Beauty, gave me strength and enthusiasm to continue. And then better days came! Thank you so much to all of you for being part of this community and sending me so much positive energy every day!
Tako je dosad fotografirala žene u više od 60 zemalja, od Afganistana do Islanda, piše Business Insider, a fotke redovito objavljuje na svom Instagram profilu The Atlas Of Beauty. Tako je, naime, nazvala ovaj svoj fascinantan projekt, a u rujnu ove godine planira objaviti knjigu odabranih fotografija koje je skupila na svojim putovanjima.
Mihaela je počela fotografirati kad joj je bilo 16 godina, a prvi modeli bile su joj njena mama i njena sestra. “Tako sam zavoljela fotografirati žene, u onako potpuno iskrenom i stvarnom okruženju”, ispričala je.
Nakon što je 2013. otputovala u Etiopiju, odlučila je da se i profesionalno želi baviti fotografijom, unatoč tome što ju je jedan njen profesor na fakultetu prije toga potpuno obeshrabrio, zbog čega je počela sumnjati u vlastite sposobnosti.
Ovaj je projekt počeo u njenoj rodnoj Bugarskoj, a u početku se radilo o manjem projektu koji je financirala od vlastite ušteđevine. Htjela je maknuti fokus sa sukoba o kojima se najčešće priča u medijima te pokazati ljepotu u njenim najrazličitijim oblicima.
No, projekt nije dugo ostao malen, pa se tako ubrzo proširio diljem svijeta i svakodnevno sve više rastao. “Bila sam pod konstantnim pritiskom, ali znala sam da moram raditi više, da moram uhvatiti više različitosti i pronaći još više inspirativnih priča, kako bih mogla poslati poruku koju će ljudi zaista čuti”, tvrdi.
Zahvaljujući donacijama koje su počele stizati sa svih strana, Mihaela se mogla u potpunosti posvetiti samo svom projektu, a dosad je fotografirala žene na svim kontinentima – osim Antarktike.
I, najdraže joj je, kaže, fotografirati prirodna lica, bez previše šminke, zato što smatra da “ukoliko smo izvana prirodni i autentični, naša će unutrašnjost biti vidljivija.”
Some people ask me why there are only young women in The Atlas of Beauty. The answer is simple. Because until now 99% of the project was made with my own small savings and I didn't have enough time and funds to study all ages properly. So I chose one age: my own age. In the near future I hope I will raise decent funds to capture more diversity, in more countries because beauty is everywhere and has no age limit.
“Svojom kamerom pokušavam uhvatiti njihove oči, jer njihove će vam oči ispričati najzanimljivije priče”, dodaje. No, osim žena, važno joj je da na fotografijama bude vidljiva i atmosfera, kao i okolina, iz kojih mnogo toga možemo iščitati.
“Ljepota nema granica, i ona nije određena kozmetičkim proizvodima, novcem, rasom ni socijalnim statusom, već time da ostanemo svoji”, zaključuje Mihaela.
Na pitanje zašto fotografira samo žene, a nikad muškarce, Mihaela ima spreman odgovor – zato što se želi fokusirati na ono čime je i započela svoj projekt.
“Naravno da su i muškarci prekrasni, ali odlučila sam fotografirati žene zato što sam i sama žena, i bolje razumijem njihove borbe i snove, pa tako svakom njihovom fotografijom bolje upoznajem i samu sebe”, objašnjava.
Facebook invited me to photograph six remarkable women for International Women's Day 2016. In the past three weeks I travelled in six countries, to capture six amazing stories. In this photo is Thorunn, from Iceland. You can visit my Facebook page(The Atlas of Beauty) to see all the photos and stories. Happy women's day! #TheAtlasOfBeauty #aroundtheworld #Iceland
She’s Muslim, but her best friend, another young woman who owns this small terrace, is Christian. While traveling in Ethiopia, in February, I admired the way Christians and Muslims get along. I saw many beautiful friendships that go beyond religion. But in the same country, there are dozens of terrible ethnic conflicts, based on other reasons than religion. While traveling around the world I realised that is not the religion, the colour, or the ethnicity the real reason for conflicts and intolerance. But something else. The truth is that some people always take advantage of these conflicts. They conceive them by raising anger among us, just to feed their pockets or their ego. It was always like that, but today I think we have more opportunities to make a change. Our love can be stronger than their greed. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #Ethiopia #aroundtheworld
Aliisa is originally from Lapland, Finland, one of the coldest places in the world. But her smile is warm and contagious. I met her 3 days ago on the streets of Helsinki, the capital of Finland, where she's working in a kindergarten, assisting a little girl with disabilities who cannot move without help. For Aliisa this is more than a job. She is amazed how the little girl finds happiness in small things and she feels inspired by her positivity. Today I arrived in Saint Petersburg, Russia, with The Atlas of Beauty. #Finland #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld
Anastasia, from Saint Petersburg, Russia, is a ballerina at Mariinsky, one of the world's greatest ballet companies. During childhood, her younger sister was the one who dreamed to become a ballet dancer. When she was ten years old, Anastasia accompanied her sister to a ballet audition, whitout imagining that this will change her life. The teacher insisted that Anastasia should take the test too. They were both accepted. Ten years later, Anastasia is part of one of the leading ballet companies in the world. Her sister recently started the faculty of law. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #Russia #AroundTheWorld
Each morning this Banjara woman starts to work at 5am in one of the largest fish markets of Mumbai, India. She peels shrimps together with other women and young girls for a very small income. It's a hard life but she doesn't complain at all. A few years ago her life was even harder. That's why she came all the way from Southern India to find a job like this and a better life for her children. Despite all the problems, most of the Indian women keep walking with courage and dignity, and the way they deal with their daily challenges, combining strength with grace, is remarkable. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #India #AroundTheWorld
Linda is from Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, a republic in Southern Russia where ancient traditions mix with modernity and many women wear colourful scarves on their head. While visiting this unique place a few days ago, I discovered a new city, totally rebuilt, but where memories of war are still alive. In 2003 the United Nations called Grozny the most destroyed city on earth after years of terrible battles. In one of these battles, Linda lost her father, who was accidentally shot in his way to work. At that time, Linda’s mother was pregnant with her second child. Linda and her sister were raised by a single mother, in a time of war, but received a wonderful education. Today Linda studies medicine preparing to become a paediatrician. This strong Chechen woman had a tough childhood and now she wants to dedicate her life to help other children in need. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #Chechnya #AroundTheWorld
These days I'm in Berlin, Germany. Every Sunday afternoon, from spring to early autumn, thousands of people gather in Mauerpark to attend a famous Karaoke show where anybody can sing. Anais, who is in love with music, was in the park last Sunday, wearing a beautiful African outfit. Born in France from a Malian mother and a French father, she moved to Berlin a few years ago. When she's in Mali, people say she's white. When she's in France, people say she's black. But Anais always felt both African and European and loves the fact that she has such a diverse family. #Berlin #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld
I was immediately impressed by Vivi's joy and kindness when I met her, 3 months ago. Her biggest dream is to become an excellent elementary school teacher. For this young woman from Megara, Greece, the most amazing thing is to work with children. Almost every day she goes from her home to Athens, where she studies pedagogy. Although she has to wake up at 5am, because the trip takes almost 2 hours, she is enthusiast about each day of her life. She already gives some courses, as part of her studies, and it was a real joy for me to see her in a classroom, surrounded by kids. She also loves to work with children with disabilities. “They make you see the world completely different and realise how little things can make you happy." #Greece #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld
This German young woman travels as much as she can. Her loved ones are spread all over the world and she is still searching for a place where she would love to live. Lisa was coming from a trip when I met her 3 weeks ago, on the streets of Berlin. She carried a huge backpack with her and many interesting memories. When she started to talk her cheeks turned red. Her blushing was lovely but for many years she felt embarrassed about it. "I was very insecure with my skin. I thought people could look through me. Everyone could see when I was nervous or excited. I love to sing, I was in some bands but I was too afraid to sing in front of audience because of my skin which used to get very blotchy. I hated it because of the red spots and all the scars of the accident." When she was 11 years old Lisa was hit by a tram. "I had many broken bones, some smashed organs and plenty of angels by my side." She incredibly survived. Today she can walk, she can travel, she can do whatever she wants. And most important, she learned to accept her scars and her blushing. In the end, beauty is about being yourself, natural and authentic. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #Berlin #Germany #AroundTheWorld
Koleka is a performance poet from South Africa. She was born in a family of 8 siblings in Port Elizabeth and now lives in Cape Town where I met her 5 months ago. In a time when the success is mostly synonym with lots of money or huge popularity, it's great to see that there are still so many wonderful people around the world that dedicate their life to art, although their path is full of struggles and challenges. Besides the time when she recites her poems on a stage, some of the happiest moments in Koleka's life are her birthdays. She thinks we should appreciate each year of our lives because getting older is a privilege, not something to take for granted. An article about my stay in Cape Town in the link from bio. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld #SouthAfrica
I had the chance to talk with many wonderful women while visiting Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, a few weeks ago. In Azerbaijan equal rights between man and women are granted by laws but in reality there are still many couples where the husband decides for her wife. Some women told me that they need permission from their husbands, if I want to photograph them. Things are changing though.There are more and more Azerbaijani women who fight for gender equality. Fidan is one of these amazing women who would never start a relationship, if she wouldn't be treated equally and respected. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld #Azerbaijan
Magda is from Bucharest, Romania, where I photographed her one month ago. In 2005 she experienced a terrible car accident, as a passenger. In most parts of the world, people in wheelchairs are condemned to isolation by authorities. While traveling around the planet I visited tens of countries where you don’t see them at all, in public areas. Why? Because in all those places, leaving your home in a wheelchair is almost an impossible mission due to that lack of infrastructure. But Magda wants to change the way people in wheelchairs are treated, at least in her country, through some amazing initiatives. Since a few years ago she regularly organises an event dedicated to beauty where the protagonists are women in wheelchairs. Her goal is to show that they are all talented, capable and beautiful. Through this initiative, Magda changed many lives, giving more confidence to many wonderful women. In the meantime some of them started families and became mothers. Magda is also the mother of a six-year-old daughter. I feel privileged when I meet people like her. Through their passion, strength and generosity they make the world a better place. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld
In terms of fashion, Milan is one of the most important cities in the world. Beautiful women from all over the planet come here to work as models. But there are thousands of other beautiful women in the city and their beauty usually goes unnoticed. In the beginning, Laile didn’t want me to photograph her because she said she’s not beautiful enough. I hope this post and your comments will make her realise how beautiful she is. I took this photo three weeks ago in Milan, Italy. Now I’m in London with The Atlas of Beauty. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld #Italy #Milan
I photographed these two Yazidi children a few days ago in a refugee camp from the Kurdistan Region in Iraq. Thousands of people from their community have been killed in the last 3 years just because they were different. While visiting countries affected by conflicts I've seen with my own eyes the consequences of intolerance and discrimination. They are horrific! In some parts of the world people are persecuted or even killed just because they are different. Sometimes the victims are Yazidis, other times are Muslims, Christians or Atheists. And no, it's not the religion. Because other times people are discriminated for their colour, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. It's about the hate of some people, encouraged by their leaders, towards other people that are different. And tomorrow you could also be affected. The human kind made a huge progress since the Second World War in terms of human rights but we shouldn't take anything for granted. We should continue to make this world a better place although there are moments when everything seems lost. The smile of this little girl gives me hope in humanity. As long as the love is on our side we are stronger. #Refugees #Yazidi #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld
She has African and European roots and she loves the diversity of the world. Imane is from Paris and studies arts. Besides going to her university she also works in 3 restaurants and does babysitting to support herself. She had some time before a job interview so when I noticed her she was visiting an art exhibition in Pompidou Centre from Paris. That’s the ideal place to think about her dream. Imane wishes to have a big art gallery someday that will bring artists from very different cultures, together, so she could combine her love for arts and for diversity. #TheAtlasOfBeauty #AroundTheWorld #Paris #Arts
She’s Mahsa, on the streets of Tehran, Iran, a few weeks ago. She recently started photography as a hobby, but wishes to make it a profession. In The Atlas of Beauty Book you will find much more photos and stories from all over the world. If you wish to pre-order it, just follow the link from the bio. It would greatly help the continuation of the project. #TheAtlasofBeauty #AroundTheWorld #Iran