By Charlotte Rainville
Charlotte Rainville (she/her), also known as jailli online, is a Montreal-based twenty-one-year-old freelance photographer, graphic designer, illustrator, and calligraphist. She is also a second-year Photography major and Psychology minor BFA student at Concordia University.
Rainville views experimenting with the mixture of photography, art therapy, event planning, cinematographic photo direction and psychology as her life’s purpose. Creatively, Charlotte focuses on storytelling portraiture, making people feel confident, educating herself on human psychology, and challenging her depicting and understanding of others’ selfhoods as well as her own. She defines her practice as creating light-and-minimalism-focused scenes, showcasing human connexions, and having a cinematic photojournalistic approach.
In “Transitions”, Charlotte Rainville analyzes self-shifting in women. She aims to immortalize teenager and newly “adulted” women in the middle of their own perpetual transitions. By doing so, Rainville wants to highlight the perseverance, instability, awkwardness, and vulnerability that growing-up shifts cause. Simultaneously, “Transitions” is her attempt at freezing subjects amidst their mutation, her invitation for them to look at their transitions from a more detached and objective perspective.
Unraveling our identity is a task which may seem very isolating at times, but in fact, it is tied to a broader and common search of each member of society’s goals and self-defining, marked by vulnerability and “existential crises.” With this project, Rainville, therefore, aims for the public to rally around the universal experience of transitional change, inviting the viewers to introspect about their own transitions: How has time imposed its oeuvre within you, how has it made you leave your mark on the world? What would you tell your fifteen-year-old self or future ninety-year-old self? Are you who you thought you would be? How have you changed for the better? For the worst? It’s worth pondering about.
Furthermore, “Transitions” is a reminder that what is even more unnatural than telling women that they are an object or that who they are is inherently sexual is stripping them of the right to represent their body as they please. Therefore, “Transitions” is also an attempt to establish a conversation around unjust censorship, specifically targeting social media’s censorship rules. Indeed, platforms like Instagram, whose censorship of the breast reflects the social norms that affect the female body, only contribute to the sexualization of women’s bodies. Through this series, Rainville addresses that the unfair censorship of women that happens online also impacts what happens off-screen, only feeding into an already vicious cycle of objectification and women’s self-hatred.