Photographs: Giula Lacolutti
Text: Giula Lacolutti
Publisher: M éditions
Price: 55 €
Comments: Illustrated hardcover, 24 by 16,5cm, edition of 460 copies numbered copies.
“Casa Azul” (Blue House) is part of a socio-visual developed with the sociologist research Chloé Constant, about the life histories of five trans women imprisoned in a male penitentiary in Mexico City.
The Project shows the process of identity construction and corporal practices of people whose bodies are considered double wretched: due to their identity and also to their condition of seclusion. Since it is mandatory for the prisoners to wear blue, they call the jail “the blue house”, evoking the imprisonment suffered in their own bodies. In man jail, it is forbidden to pass feminine objects, but throughout corruption, the prisoners manage to do it. By doing this, these feminine objects in a male jail become resistance tools against an environment that imposes them the masculine.
For the images in this project,I have used photographs printed in cyanotype – old printing system. In one of my visits to jail, in the library, I found a Biology textbook from the 90’s that acknowledges the cell as the basic unit of life. So to blue prints, I have added microscopic photographs of healthy cells processed in pink, taken in collaboration with the Institute of Biomedical Research of Bellevitge (IDIBELL). The general staining procedure with hematoxylin-eosin used in histology, paints the tissue samples in pink and blue. In the book, the blue evokes the exterior and the passive identification while the pink talks about the interior, of the self and of self-determination. “Casa Azul” shows the eternal binary struggle that these people have to face in everyday life to be what they perceive themselves: women.