Throughout my years working as a freelance photojournalist, I developed the focus of my personal and professional interest: to meet and listen the women who choose to fight with rebel groups in contemporary conflicts to understand their motivations.
At first I documented my journey in Congo using photography, but at the end I realised that to better explore and show this story, I needed other tools to amplify the anthropological and historical perspective, and ideas on how to continue it on a narrative level.
Meanwhile I felt a growing dissatisfaction towards the media system in which I worked. After operating in that environment for years, I became less and less convinced about the editorial standards of so called in-depth journalism. The preference for dramatic stories, more ‘bang bang’, sensationalism, situations where people are perpetually portrayed as victims; some media tendencies and bias are designed to emphasise certain conflicts while ignoring others and enforce certain types of narratives over more complex ones.
My questions regarding the effective functioning of this information system and its effectiveness became more urgent: I needed to experiment, deconstruct, and emancipate myself and my work from the constrictive cocoon of the mainstream which was making me feel disillusioned.
I took a sabbatical year in which I developed the female fighters project through some development labs. It is a process - combining different disciplines and professions- that leads to a deeper reflection about the story, why it must to be told, who will be the audience that will read / see / experience it and the experiential / cognitive / emotional process of the narration.
The decision to construct a platform -creating a type of experience for that audience- is a consequence of that reflection. It is no longer very much important which media you work with, but what will work best to tell the story and provoke the social, cultural and political debate. We should always be focusing on our motivations, why we do storytelling, conscious of our journalistic responsibility. Sharing a project from the beginning with other professionals revolutionises the creative process. For me this was an explosion of creative / narrative / experiential possibilities that led me to explore the different components of my reasons and my desires as a storyteller.