Alejandra Carles-Tolra

Artist, Educator, Facilitator
     
Where We Belong
Location: London, UK
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Alejandra Carles-Tolra is a visual artist, educator and participatory photography facilitator from Barcelona based in London. Questions regarding what defines our identities and the role the group plays in our search for belonging drives her... MORE
Public Story
Where We Belong
Copyright Alejandra Carles-Tolra 2022
Date of Work Jan 2016 - Jan 2018
Updated Oct 2020
Topics identity

‘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


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Essays:
Jerwood Arts
Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Where We Belong
By Nicolas Helm-Grovas


Literary Hub
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.

Refinery 29
The Seductive World Of Jane Austen Super-Fans

Photoworks 
Jerwood / Photoworks Awards Interview, exhibition tour and resources
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