Associate Professor of Photography, Artist and Photographer Fazilat Soukhakian is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the ‘Defiance Project’. To see Fazilat’s body of work, click on any image.
“Defiance” is an on-going project that looks at the concept of ‘resistance’ which comes in different shapes and forms. Societies across the world have evolved over the years and put social structures in place to govern them as well as criticize them. This project investigates people in a variety of cultures who rebel or rebelled against authority, control, culture, tradition or the status quo, standing up for their beliefs. The world is always in flux, with societies changing and reinventing themselves every day because of this reluctance to conform.
This project started in the Dominican Republic, Japan, the United States, Belgium, Mexico and Turkey, featuring stories of people who put up a fight for progress, ranging from environmental resistance to active social change. The stories are underlined by combining a portrait of each story’s protagonist and a handwritten text of their inspiring story or bold statement. Defining the Defiance project’s rebel in a broad way without stigmatization, opens the opportunity for stories to show the fickle balance of a culture, whose status quo always has a counterculture, and give the opportunity to hear both sides’ voices. One culture’s rebel can be revered as a hero, while another culture looks at his/her actions as criminal. An example of this can be found in the world of tattoos; while certain cultures consider tattoos a form of art and personal expression, other cultures associate them with criminality and demonize them. We should not forget, however, that many inspirational individuals throughout history were slandered and branded strange, but their voices, actions and ingenuity proved necessary to spark change and inspire cultures to grow and cultural identities to evolve. This project hopes to bring stories of people from every corner of the world to the foreground, and have others support these voices rather than criticize them, stimulating dialogue and framing passion along the way.
All images and text © Fazilat Soukhakian
By Fazilat Soukhakian
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