French-Dominican photographer Karla Hiraldo Voleau grew up with a constant warning: “Never date a Dominican!” In Hola Mi Amol, Hiraldo Voleau goes back to the Dominican Republic. She looks at the many men she meets, mostly men working in the tourism trade. Sensual, unstaged, sometimes erotic, the book is punctuated by vulnerable self-portraits and intimate encounters. Accompanied by short texts, Hola Mi Amol, unfolds into a story that is fierce, funny and compassionate.
Her mother, aunt or grandmother had all fallen in love, married or had a child on the island, and Hiraldo Voleau reenacts those past love stories, freeing herself from the family prohibitions, to explore love, sexuality and friendship. Inevitably, her performative project bears a trace of loneliness, of the often brutal disparities of our times. Hiraldo Voleau’s curiosity about eroticism, virility, cultural and racial identities and the status of the female gaze vibrates through the pages of this photographic debut.
Karla Hiraldo Voleau, born 1992, is a French-Dominican artist, she works and lives in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her work was featured at the Rencontres d’Arles 2017, Plat(t)form 2019, or the MAP Festival 2016. She is part of the Foam Talents 2020, and the Recommended Olympus Fellowship 2019/20. Her photobook Hola Mi Amol has been shortlisted for the Aperture First Book Awards, and was a winner of the Swiss Young Talents for Photography VFG 2018. It is co-published by Self Publish Be Happy Editions & ECAL (Ecole Cantonale d’Arts de Lausanne).