“The Atlas of Beauty”: Portraits of women around the world

by Lale Arikoglu

Photographer Mihaela Noroc is drawn to women; it’s much more complicated to approach men, she says. And she’s getting quite a response to her work: The Bucharest-born artist has 206,000 followers (and counting) on her Instagram account, The Atlas of Beauty, where she “celebrates the diversity of this fascinating world” by documenting women—real women—around the globe. Her four-year-long project is now a book of 500 portraits, spanning nations and generations. On one page, you might find an image of a woman on her motorbike in Central Mongolia, while on another, a woman stands with her bicycle in Iran, where religious authorities discourage women from riding bikes altogether. There are photos of students, dancers, pilots, actresses, refugees, sisters, mothers, and octogenarians. They represent Mexico, India, Ethiopia, Italy, even North Korea. We spoke with Noroc, who’s in Berlin for the next few months, about her experiences circling the globe with a camera in hand, and how these women have helped shape her own definition of beauty.


Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador

Since she launched the project in 2013, Noroc has visited more than 50 countries, photographing women in every environment imaginable—from a crowded New York City block to a canyon in Petra, Jordan. While traveling through the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, she met a woman dressed in her wedding outfit and asked to take her picture. “At the beginning of my photography work, I was photographing my mother and my sister,” says Noroc. “[It’s] much easier to get close to other women. Two women who spend some time together are going to get connected in certain ways. They talk more—maybe it’s more sincere, more open.”

Courtesy Mihaela Noroc/Ten Speed Press


Chichicastenango, Guatemala and Nampan, Myanmar

Most of the time, Noroc approaches her subjects as they go about their daily lives—be it at work, a train station, or out shopping for groceries. In Chichicastenango, a town in the Guatemalan highlands, she encountered Maria, a vegetable vendor (left); and in the lakeside village of Nampan, Myanmar, she snapped a picture of a woman stocking up on vegetables at the market. “We are much more alike than we think we are. We do all the same things,” she says. “Of course, on the outside we are different, but inside we want the same things.” The most important thing she’s learned on the road, she says, is that “what ties us together is humanity.”

Courtesy Mihaela Noroc/Ten Speed Press


Read full article here: https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/the-atlas-of-beauty-portraits-of-women-around-the-world?mbid=nl_093017_Daily&CNDID=9088589&cntnl=1&spMailingID=12040057&spUserID=MTMzNDg1NjIxODE1S0&spJobID=1242549165&spReportId=MTI0MjU0OTE2NQS2





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s