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What does it mean to be an Arab man today? French photographer Scarlett Coten explores in a series of intimate, open portraits of young men.

French photographer Scarlett Coten has spent a couple years living and photographing throughout Egypt. Her series of diptychs reverberate with intimate life and luscious color. A personal poetic essay (in French, with an English translation) provides interesting insight into her experiences with these timeless cultures.
About Scarlett Coten

Scarlett Coten is an independent french female photographer.
She lives in Paris and works in North Africa and the Middle East. After studying photography at the ENSP in Arles, she regularly publish in national and international press.
In 2000, she traveled to Egypt to produce her first feature documentary, spending months in the Sinai desert with the Bedouins. This series, produced over three years was published in 2009 in her first book, Still alive. In 2004 it was awarded the Humanity Photo Award in Beijing, China, and in 2009 nominated at the NYPH Festival in the Book caregory. .
Since then, Scarlett has focused on long-term projects. Arab culture has so fascinated her that for over a decade it has been the main theme of her photography
Between 2009 and 2011, her involvement in these regions brought her focus on Morocco, a country in the midst of transformation. With "Maroc Evolution" she have chronicled, in a small seaside resort on holidays times, an intimate visual diary about the evolution of the new generation divided between powerful traditions and a desire for emancipation.
Her current project "Mectoub" focuses on men, particularly the young urban generation who since early 2011 have been calling widely for greater individual freedom. Since 2012, she have worked in Moroccan and Egyptian cities, and recently in Palestine, where she intuitively select male strangers to ask to pose for portraits. In societies where only men have the freedom to look and openly observe, her challenge is to reverse these roles. Through her stance as a foreign woman, she engages them to reveal the innermost aspects of their personality, offering them the opportunity to turn conventions upside down. The portraits are therefore collaborations between cultures that might broaden for both the idea of what it means to be an Arab man today.
In a parallel series of works, Scarlett explores the hazardous rendering that results from her use of various plastic cameras, interrogating the subtle links between illusion and appearance, memory and imagination.

Scarlett's work is represented by East Wing Gallery (Doha/Dubai), M.I.A Gallery (Seattle) and Galerie 127 (Marrakech).

Read more
Scarlett Coten's Projects on LensCulture
Scarlett Coten's Books