Being Inbetween is a photographic portrait series documenting and exploring the lives, thoughts and feelings of girls aged between ten and twelve, exploring the complex transition between girlhood and young adulthood, an age where girls are often unintentionally rendered invisible or unimportant. The result is large photographic portraits with words taken from interviews exploring their thoughts and lives.
Mendelsohn has been working on the series Being Inbetween for six years. During this time she completed over ninety portraits and interviews to produce a legacy project that is representative portrait of our time.
She says: "This work stems from strong memories of this part of my own life; The things people said to me at that point really stuck in my head, generally the throwaway comments, or the little criticisms from teachers, parents or peer group; comments stick and influence us for a long time after, sometimes well into adulthood. This work and the way it is exhibited is my way of exploring the lives of these girls, giving them power and allowing their voices to be heard. It is celebrating the beauty that is wholly them, one that is sometimes concealed in silence, attitude, embarrassment and self-consciousness."
A Kickstarter campaign to fund a photobook on the project has been launched by publishers Bluecoat Press. The target is £8,500 with some great incentives to donate. To view click here
Alisha aged 11 - left: “My ambition is to travel around the world and meet loads of new people from all different countries and cultures. I dream that no-one is homeless and everyone has a special place to go to.”
Abigail age 10 - right: “When I am an adult I want to be an architect. When I get enough money I will move to Romania and raise wolves.”
Alice age 10 - left: "I used to aspire to be a teacher but now I want to be a vet. I dislike it when people are mean to other people, because it is really hard to go through." This portrait won gold in the RPS International Photography Exhibition 2016.
Eden-Ny aged 11- right: "My ambition is to show people who I really am through what I am good at, and put a message out that you can be who you want to be, and not anyone else wants you to be. I wish for everyone would be happy and that no one would have to starve or feel that they are not equal to everyone else.“
Erin age 12 - left: “I speak two languages and have two nationalities. Sometimes I think and dream in one language, sometimes in the other language. It makes me wonder what will people think of me for being half Bulgarian? I feel that people might be ashamed of me because I have a different culture to other people in some respects; I think why is that the case? It shouldn’t be.”
Jodie aged 10 - right: "My dream is to be a horse rider, as well as a dancer, as well as a gymnast. My hopes for the future are for homeless people to be off the streets, and for people in Africa to have food, and for the world to be a happy place."
Mabel age 11 - left: "I fear that one day we will all be the same, that people will get an idea of how we should live, how we should act, and how we should look like and everyone will be afraid to be different."
Ruby aged 11 - right: "I hope that in the future society is more open about body image, because not everyone is like what you see in the magazines, everyone is different, and I really hope people can accept that more.My ambition is to be more self-confident when I am older and to help other people be more confident about themselves. My dream is probably to have a decent job and two Pomeranians.”
Sadie age 11 - left: "In my ideal world there won't be global warming, and there won't be war and hate. I have a strange fear; when I think there's a universe and that there is nothing else out there, I can't get my head around it, and I get muddled up in my thoughts. I find it quite frightening.“
Claudia aged 10 - right: “I dream I go to lots of parties; we drink from chocolate fountains and stuff our faces with marshmallows. I really fear my parents and family will get really ill and I will be left by myself.”
Heavens aged 10 - top left: "I love being adventurous, creative and drawing. I hate being bossed around. I would really love to be a doctor and I wish nobody died in the world.”
Maria aged 10 - top middle: “My dream is to become a good teacher so I can help children overcome their difficulties, so they can become great people like doctors and prime ministers."
Caitlin aged 11 - top right: “I love my family! I hate it when people are mean to each other”
To view Carolyn's Kickstarter page click here
All images copyright Carolyn Mendelsohn.