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Dita Pepe

With human connection at its core, accomplished Czech photographer Dita Pepe uses photography as therapy.

It is common to retrospectively analyze and comb through an artist’s body of work, trying to connect pieces with certain moments in their lives, hoping to uncover a deeper narrative embedded within years of dedication to their craft. Dita Pepe started her notorious ‘Self-Portraits’ project in 1999 after running away from home in pursuit of strong female figures. After acquiring her degree in Creative Photography from the Silesian University of Opava in 2003, her project continued, photographing herself alongside other women, and eventually extending herself into sceneries with men and families. Her striking ability to not only look the part of a sister or mother, but be able to imitate the body language and a sense of familiarity, is what transforms Pepe into a chameleon in her own craft. The intimacy and authenticity in each shot is real, making it difficult to identify the artist within her large collection of images.

Over the span of two decades, we not only witness her introduction to motherhood and growth as an artist, but also the amplification of her voice, as Pepe has published several books revolving around love, intimacy, and femininity throughout her years as a creative. In unison with her collection of photographs, the creative conducts interviews and additional prose in order to amplify her own voice throughout the narrative she visually creates. A picture might draw an emotion, but her words will hold your hand as you venture on a journey of self-identification. A level of personal intimacy with her subjects helps to open the scene to a new form of therapy – a communal experience through which people may appreciate or mourn relationships throughout their lives. Family has no set structure, but intimacy does, and you feel it throughout every warm embrace and meaningful look found in her works.

words ALIA AYOUBI

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