Audio Guide read by Frederik Busch

Giulia Iacolutti (Italy)

Through different tools and languages Giulia Iacolutti explores social and political issues that are strongly related to the notion of identity. She uses art as a critical exercise aimed at provoking people’s mindfulness. A tool to communicate and denounce social issues, dealing particularly with femininity and violence.

Giulia Iacolutti holds a master’s degree in the economy of art and she graduated in photography and videography at the Academy of Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Currently, she is a scholarship grantee for the diploma on Visual Storytelling and New Media by Pedro Meyer Foundation and World Press Photo in Mexico City.

Her photographs have been published in magazines like the National Geographic, Al Jazeera, L’Espresso, La Repubblica and Vice. Her Work has been exhibited in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland and United States. In 2019, she published her first photobook, Casa Azul, about transgender women imprisoned in a male prison, with (M) éditions and studiofaganel publishers. Giulia Iacolutti lives and works as freelance photographer in Latin America and Italy.


Giulia about Casa Azul 

Casa Azul is a socio-visual investigation, started in 2016, into the life stories of five trans women imprisoned in a correctional facility for men in Mexico City.

The project shows the process of identity construction and physical practices of humans whose bodies are considered doubly abject due to their identity and their secluded condition.

Since it is mandatory for prisoners to wear blue, they have called the jail ‘the blue house’, alluding to the imprisonment they suffer in their own male bodies. In a men’s prison it is forbidden to own feminine objects.

Through bribery the inmates manage to smuggle in a few things, and in doing so, these objects become the tools of resistance against an environment that imposes masculinity on them.

The photographs are printed in cyanotype – an old printing system, characterised by the Prussian blue colour. In collaboration with the Institute of Biomedical Research of Bellvitge (IDIBELL) I combined the images with microscopic photographs of healthy prostatic cells processed in pink. If the blue evokes the exterior and imposed identity, the pink speaks to the interior, to the human being and to self-determination.

Casa Azul addresses the binary, the eternal struggle of these people to be what they are: women.


The Jury Statement

Giulia Iacolutti gives us access to the community of a minority within a minority. However, her gaze does not focus on the difficulties of these women. Instead, it makes their strategies for resilience visible and cleverly combines them with images deriving from the scientific-academic world, which has a strong history of classifying issues and individuals.