carmens place

Samantha Casolaris photo series depicts teenage sanctuary in New York. “The story regards a group of teenagers transvestites and transexuals who live  in a house managed by a priest, in Astoria, Queens.

These young people come from different part of the USA and have been prostitutes for most of their teenager years. Having been homeless for months a priest, Father Braxton, has rented a small apartment in order to offer them a shelter as well as some kind of moral guidance for their lives. They find hard to live the house for fear of not being accepted, but also because without selling their bodies, it is difficult for them to find a regular job or education. Their future is as uncertain and unstable as their past, but they still remain individuals full of dreams as most of the teenagers around them.   With the story I have tried to show the beauty of their faces, their innate femininity, and their almost obsessive and hysterical desire to be accepted and physically liked. All this within the sometimesclaustrophobic sometimes homely frame of the small apartment, with the constant presence of a priest who looks like the good giant of fairy tales. And where on many walls mirrors hang where the ‘girls’ of Carmen’s Place continuously observe their reflection with enslaving and unlimited vanity, with the believe that their bodies and their features are the only, even if reversible, value that they own as human beings.”  

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