Far from home


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Far From Home is a series by Switzerland-based photographer Youqine Lefévre (b.1993) about kids living in a foster home on the mountains. This work relates to the personal experience of the photographer, a key element to understanding the series' subjective visual language, mixing colour with black and white, and sombre portraiture with atmospheric landscapes. Detouring a strictly documentary approach, Lefévre achieves an abstract account, coherently with the untold feelings of the portrayed kids.

Their experience seems to be enclosed by the surrounding landscapes, where their everyday lives awaits them beyond the trees. The stones in Lefévre’s series reveal a peculiar aspect of the children's quest for identity and intimacy: they each keep a stone as something like a talisman, serving a game of fantasy that is actually a means of communication between them. One boy, though knowing nothing about lithotherapy, attributed to these stones a sort of power that helps comfort him and sooth against anger. The stones seem to be the only constant element while nature, feelings and life itself are unstable and unpredictable.

Lefévre observes at a certain distance, though anticipating the kids' feelings she does not intrude on them, rather she captures the reflection of their expressions while in a state of inactivity; she shows a moment of uncertainty, of expectation. The alternation of different elements makes the series visually dynamic, yet its regular rhythm transmits a general feeling of a stand-still in representing this seemingly endless moment of a childhood that is already invested with experience.