An exhibition of photographs by Sophia Laouari is on at Alliance Francaise de Trivandrum until December 17

For some, images speak louder than words. Sophia Laouari is one of them. She and her camera have travelled across most parts of the globe where she has captured “faces” as frames. The petite photographer who is in the city as an intern at Alliance Francaise de Trivandrum has focussed her lens on the people of Kerala too.

“Faces fascinate me. So many things can be said through one's face: a twitch of an eye, a curve of the lips…even wrinkles. One's face also marks one's identity,” says Sophia, who has been residing in the city for the last four months.

Twenty six of her photographs, which were taken mostly in Kerala, and a couple of them in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, will be displayed at Art Gallery, Alliance Francaise de Trivandrum starting today.

‘Metaphor Shots'

According to Sophia, her collection of photographs titled ‘Metaphor Shots' combine French sayings with Indian images. She takes as examples ‘Petite a petite l'oiseau fait son neig' (step-by-step, one goes far), ‘L'esperir fait vivie' (man lives by hope) and ‘Lentement mais surement' (slowly but surely). While ‘Petite a petite l'oiseau fait son neig' shows a soon-to-be bride taking her first step into the institution of marriage, ‘L'esperir fait vivie' captures a young man holding a bunch of spring onions. ‘Lentement mais surement,' the photographer's favourite, has a young girl playing with the waves.

“All my photographs are my favourites; it is something I have experienced and shared with someone. ‘Lentement mais surement' was taken at Cherai beach during the Onam holidays. This little girl was with her father and she and I had a great time together. While most of the other pictures have the subjects posing for the frames, the picture of the little girl was natural; it was while she was at play.”

Sophia, who hails from Paris, France, has always dreamt of coming to Kerala having heard tales of the state from a friend who spent some time in Kochi. “I love Kerala. The people are so welcoming and I love the food. In fact the first dishes I asked for when I landed in the city were samosa and dosa. I love masala dosa.”

Sophia, a filmmaker who made short films in New York, Cambodia and Iceland, plans to train her lens on Kerala now. Her films, she says, focus on people and the environment. If the one shot in New York, That's M'iphone shows the ‘I want' side of humans, the short film shot in Cambodia titled Coconut Woman tries to capture in a light way the people of Cambodia, who like a bit of drama and romance in their lives. The one on Kerala which she has just started shooting will have romance, travel and a blend of two cultures, France and India. “It will explore the life of a single traveller,” she says. Sophia who will be returning to Paris in time for Christmas. She plans to return to Kerala soon. “I'm keeping my fingers crossed for it.” Sophia's exhibition of photographs will conclude on December 17.