Thursday, 13 May 2010

Identity by Catherine Balet

I use this book alot in workshops with young people to explore ideas around identity. In the book photographer Catherine Balet took pictures of signs, labels, codes and icons that have social and aesthetic significance in the teenage world from across Europe. Here's the blurb:

"Teenagers in their struggle for identity and self-esteem, troubled by an urgent desire to be different, usually adopt the codes of a group, often inspired by music trends and always tweaked by circumstance, conscious individuation or both. In each city, Balet discovered the same music, fashion, brands, bands and labels. Only the details differed, reflecting the complexity of the history of each country or the influence of its migrant populations.

In London and Barcelona, where the uniform is a school institution, details are all that students have by which to define themselves: Balet captures the way's in which these students customize their outfits. Her large, richly descriptive portraits, set in the street, combine documentary style with poetic sensibility, capture the complex mix of youth and age inherent to adolescence, and the era's new mix of global homogenization and local individuation."

You can buy the book on Amazon and read reviews at:

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