Where We Belong’ is a body of work exploring themes of belonging, femininity and escapism through a portrayal of Jane Austen devotees.
The ‘Jane Austen Pineapple Appreciation Society’ is a group of people who share a strong passion for the 19th century English author. The society’s members, who define themselves as Janeites, have created a community of like-minded people with whom to celebrate the work of the writer. Since its creation over two years ago, the society has built a solid network of support and sisterhood that has created strong bonds among its members.
Through my work, I explore how the sense of safety and belonging that specific groups might offer can empower the individuals and strengthen their own identity. In my photographs, I use physical and psychological closeness to represent the intense relationships fostered within these communities and to depict the existential need to belong. I am also interested in examining the threshold between fiction and nonfiction, between past and present. My goal is to invite the viewer to question where the performance starts and ends, and to challenge where the limits between reality and imagination lie.
This body of work has been originally commissioned through the Jerwood / Photoworks Awards, supported by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Photoworks
Where We Belong Book
Published by Ediciones Posibles
Essay by Shoair Mevlian
Essays, articles and interviews:
Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Where We Belong
By Nicolas Helm-Grovas
Documenting Jane Austen Cosplay in the English Countryside
By Ellie Broughton
Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2017 - Sam Laughlin, Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Lua Ribeira
By Tim Clarke
The Washington Post
This photographer hung out with some Jane Austen mega-fans. Here’s what she saw.
By Kenneth Dickerman
The Seductive World Of Jane Austen Super-Fans
By Joanna Cresswell
Cuando Jane Austen lo es todo
By Lara Gomez
By Sophie Wright
FotoEnsayo / Jane Austen en tiempos del #MeToo
By Gloria Crespo
Virtual Exhibition Tour:
Jerwood / Photoworks Awards Interview, exhibition tour and resources
Resources for students:
Where We Belong: Community and Identity - A resource exploring belonging, community and collective identity through the work of Alejandra Carles Tolra.