30 years ago I decided to become a photographer, after being diagnosed with dyslexia wich I call being a visual thinker .
At That time the Flemish school supported, special education for young students as me but limited (dyslexia had a very prejudice interpretation). Meaning I was more pushed/consulted into technical directions than into more written/linear directions like researcher, politics or science. Even though I was a very curious young woman and had only bad points in Grammar (mostly French). So photography gave me the opportunity as a Visual thinker to develop myself. At that time Social Anthropology with Visual Ethnography or Visual Anthropology wasn't in the picture as a possibility. It
would have helped a lot as support for the visibility and equality of gender diversity and many other ethnic minorities. So that's what I did since 2002 as a Female photographer and visual storyteller, changing social imaging.
For example, in 2002 when I worked as a photographer in Paris, I noticed the lack of diversity in the visualization of women in the media. These days in 2017 we can recognize it as objectifying the female body. I wasn't very happy about it at that time, like most young women. I wanted to see pictures of women who succeeded in Higher social positions or more women in action. As should be a normal standard imaging of women. So, I created a work about gender and profession, 5 women in different professions. My work was exposed during the “festival films de femmes Creteil “ in 2004.
At the time I've put in some grammatical mistakes on purpose , like Chirurgienne instead of "elle est chirurgien". Afterwards I went to all kinds of media sources to show my work, like ELLE for example and Getty Image, you know what the answer was, njet. No, not interested. In 2009 Getty Image and
Lean In, merged for a new kind of imaging of women. More active and represent of the reality. In 2017 the most downloaded image of a woman of Getty Image is a woman in action. Before the most downloaded image of a woman was half naked on a bed.
At the age of 44 I can say that River is my biggest work. It is also the story of my own origin, river people and inland navigation. Since 2002 and for seven years I worked for Fluvial an inland navigation magazine .I was the Visual and the written critical voice for the European inland navigations Transport community. By gender, social and economic perspectives . Under the name D. Vermant .The inland navigation Community suffered a lot of stereotypical and gender bias/male imaging. The chief editor of fluvial was the former photo editor of Rapho and because of him I became aware of Janine Nièpce work.
Her work focused particularly on the women's liberation movement and its struggles for freedom of contraception, abortion and wage equality.
She was not only an inspiration but also my Marainne and Gender became one of my very important Visual awareness topics , by really fighting for more diversity in the media about women.
Queering the society , end 2010 I contacted Cavaria (flemish LGBTQI organisation)
This was the beginning for me as a Visual awareness/Social Visual storyteller and as a Militant/Activist for LGBTQI rigths . While working as a volunteer/photographer, I could investigate Gender, Sexuality and Identity from an intersectional perspective . The complexity of multifaceted
identities – the combination of gender, sexuality, race, religion, ethnicity, indigenous status and other identities that make up who we are – and identifies the ways that human rights abuses /targets these multifaceted identities.