THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — That’s right, it’s news to me, too. In the late 1950s when General Charles de Gaulle ruled France, police arrested and beat trans women for being ‘men dressed as women outside the period of carnival’.
That didn’t stop Christer Strömholm from coming to Paris to photograph and document trans women struggling with the oppressive living conditions of the era and their making money for sex change surgery in dehumanizing ways — something still common to many trans people today.
An exhibition of Strömholm’s photographs will be run from May 18th through Sept, 2012 in New York City.
From the International Center of Photography:
Christer Strömholm (1918–2002) was one of the great photographers of the 20th century, but he is little known outside of his native Sweden. This exhibition presents his most powerful and acclaimed body of work: Les Amies de Place Blanche, a documentation of transsexual “ladies of the night” in Paris in the 1960s. Arriving in Paris in the late 1950s, Strömholm settled in Place Blanche in the heart of the city’s red-light district. There, he befriended and photographed young transsexuals struggling to live as women and to raise money for sex-change operations. Strömholm’s surprisingly intimate portraits and lush Brassaï-like night scenes form a magnificent, dark, and at times quite moving photo album, a vibrant tribute to these girls, the “girlfriends of Place Blanche.”
International Center of Photography website: http://www.icp.org/visit
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