Exploring Vulnerability In Colombia With Photographer Carmen Triana

Carmen Triana feels very strongly about human vulnerability. The Bogota-based photographer creates moody, emotive editorials that utilize natural elements like rippling water, speckled light, and billowing clouds to portray the softer side of gender that she says is within us all.

Her recent series ‘Anatomy Of Lust’ contrasts human bodies of all genders draped in sheer garments, outside in nature. The series aims to start a conversation around gender constructs and to show the freeness that comes with disidentifying with labels. We sat down with Triana to talk about the importance of showing our vulnerable side, the duality of gender, and what draws her to people.

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Your work often features natural elements like wind, sunlight, water, and nature. What drives you to make use of these resources?

My great inspiration is my country: Colombia and its landscapes. I feel that nature makes us go back to the essence of life, to the roots of where we come from. Nowadays we are so connected to technology, and we are in such a constant rush that we forget to stop and breathe. We forget to stop and contemplate our surroundings, and look at the sky. 

Your body of work encompasses a rare vulnerability; in particular it portrays a tender side to masculinity. Why is it important to show this?

I feel we all have a masculine and a feminine side, but sometimes society makes us think we only have one gender; that we are either a man or a woman. But in reality, we are both. We are human. I like to explore feelings and sensations that we have repressed within ourselves—feeling free with our bodies and with what we are.

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What is it about people that makes them interesting to shoot?

Photography for me is a means to go inside our minds and feelings, it is a reflection of who we are. It is a psychological task. I take my work as an exercise of connection with others, and I strive for my pictures to be as transparent as possible. I like to get to people’s essence and vulnerability— I really enjoy exploring and inquiring about human beings. I feel that is is achieved through photography, and that exercise means searching within me in as well. I like to feel that I can reflect myself in others; feel that at the end of the day, we are all human beings.

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All images © Carmen Triana

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