This article is printed in the latest issue of British Journal of Photography magazine, Activism & Protest, delivered direct to you with an 1854 Subscription.
Featured in our latest issue’s Member’s Corner, the photographer reflects on her artistic practice
Based in Lille, France, Sidonie Hadoux works as a documentary photographer and filmmaker. She studied journalism at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Grenoble, France, before learning about photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Johannesburg. She is currently enrolled in an online mentorship course with Through The Lens Collective, also based in Johannesburg. Hadoux is concerned with the post-industrial landscapes found throughout Northern France, and her latest work, Explorations, sees her utilise the lens of ecofeminism to navigate the intrinsic links between capitalism, patriarchy and environmental dangers.
British Journal of Photography: How did Explorations begin?
Sidonie Hadoux: The project started two years ago when I decided to turn the camera towards myself. It began as a self-portrait series; an introspection into my femininity. At the same time, I was spending more time alone in the north of France. I was enveloped in a sense of agony looking at the destruction and mutilation of the landscape. First, I photographed myself within these injured lands. Then, I quickly realised that this was just the first step in the project. I didn’t want to travel alone, so I invited friends to join me, and we ran naked among the waste dumps, caressing and reconciling with the land. It was a magical moment of sorority.
BJP: How do the themes of ecology and gender play out within the series?
Hadoux: It’s a visual interpretation of the ecofeminist theory that capitalism prospers due to patriarchy. For centuries, men have been exploiting lands and bodies – particularly the bodies of women, sexual, gendered, and racialised minorities. In Explorations, realities are twisted to evoke a state of questioning about the world we are living in; the nature of our current reality and our choice to adapt, change, or escape.
I chose to only photograph women. Women’s bodies, as racialized or queer bodies, have been used and exploited by white and cisgender men, just like the land itself. I didn’t need men in these photographs as they are already omnipresent through their shaping of the landscape, altered for industrial purposes.
BJP: What has the project taught you?
Hadoux: Self-confidence! I wouldn’t say this project is a form of therapy, but rather a deliverance of the thoughts, anxieties, dreams, fears and emotions that I had inside of me. It is my first personal and intimate project. This process taught me to trust my intuition, and to not turn away from expressing myself.
Isaac Huxtable joined the British Journal of Photography in October 2020, where he is currently the Editorial Assistant. Prior to this, he studied a BA in History of Art at the Courtauld Instititue of Art, London.