Myriam Meloni: Important Things Are Said Softly

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Among the exhibitions for Pondy Photo 2014 which were on display at Artika Gallery from 21 March to 6 April was a photo essay by Myriam Meloni, ‘Important Things Are Said Softly’. This photo essay is the story of a mother and her two children. Three individuals, who live together, make reproaches, take care of each other, play, fight and grow, discovering together, day after day, what it means to be a family.


Various photographs of Myriam Meloni on display at Artika Gallery

The mother talked about here is Leila, a 23 year old woman who works as a commercial sex worker to support her two children. With love and willpower, Leila guarantees her children the most important security of all: affection.

Myriam Meloni admits that she also witnessed her loneliness and frustration. She wondered how Leila felt every time she had to disrobe in front of a stranger. The photographer and her subject shared a close bond, wherein the former learnt many a little things about the latter, and many things were left untouched – like what Leila would dream about when she would hum a romantic melody.

Myriam Meloni says that the concept of a family has rapidly expanded to include, among others, single parent families, blended families, and families with same sex parentage. In the last fifty years, Myriam elaborates, families have experienced unimaginable changes, linked with the evolution in the way of thinking and a new distribution of roles between men and women. However, the social imagery has clung to the stereotypical concept of a classic family, leaving the window of opportunity for stigmatization of the different wide open.

Myriam feels that in these times of change, it is crucial to understand that the family is an inactive element that never remains stationery, it moves from one form to another as the society evolves.

Myriam Meloni is an Italian documentary photographer based in Spain. She graduated in Law with a specialization in journalism. She was nominated for the Joop Swart Mastarclass, selected for Transatlantica Photoespana and the winner of the Arts and Culture Sony Award. Her work has been exhibited in Italy, Spain, Poland, Argentina, Peru and Brazil and has been featured in many international magazines. Myriam is currently combining her freelance career, working for newspapers and NGOs, along with her personal projects.

Myriam’s photo essay ‘Important Things Are Said Softly’ was part of the Delhi Photo Festival in 2013, through which this work came to be a part of Pondy Photo 2014.

Photos: Tintumon M

 Tathagata Mitra

1st M.A. Mass Communication

Tathagata Mitra

Born in Calcutta. Writer. Blogger. Storyteller.

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