What defines a “real” couple? Love: What is it?
Laura Lafon, together with her companion and lover, travelled the mountains of Kurdistan with these burning questions in mind. Laura and Martin are not a “real” couple but, every day lovers; two people who share a harmony and a passion for photography.
Very soon into their journey they encounter obstruction stemming from the cultural prohibitions, norms that have to be respected in public spaces regarding the non mixing of genders and tiresome traditions. They are endlessly asked the same question: Why aren’t you married? Driven by adrenaline they rebel against these differences in a bid to change them, using their own bodies to recreate those forbidden dangerous situations told to them by the Kurdish people.
“Here, you could even die for not being a real couple”
The people they encountered, without a doubt, painted a vivid picture of Kurdistan, the land of the revolutionaries with its poorly accepted utopias and misogynistic cafès where, in spite of the speeches, taboos still persevere. Going to Kurdistan they wanted to know how the Kurdish people, known for their revolutionary struggle and egalitarian position regarding gender, saw love and how this territory, scarred by conservatism and strong patriarchal relations could abide such ideals of freedom. Without realizing it, they fall in love becoming the definitive free couple, candidly re-describing the basis of the western fantasy that is love.
This project is a journey through the void between the words and reality; the ideal and the impossibility of existence both in Kurdistan and within their new-found role as a couple. The photographs permit us to fill this space. In order to pull out various individualities, Laura juxtaposes her own identity with the realities she encounters. This is more than just a simple documentary, it is an off the wall story which reveals the struggle for the survival of free love in a country that is fighting itself for existence.
This book was very successful in its crowdfunding campaign selling 215 copies before even going to print. It has been equally successful afterwards, being showcased at the Arles photography festival and being selected as one of the finalists for the Slideluck event at the Gazebook Photo Book Festival in Sicily.
This beautiful photo book is made up of 208 pages printed on Gardapat Kiara 150gsm paper with 2 inserts printed 1 color black on GSK red 100gr. Thread sewn, hardcover binding with round back, cloth over 2,4mm grey board with red suedel luxe and gold hotfoil stamped on the front, back and spine.