Gingerism: Exhibition opens to tackle abuse towards France's redheads

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Gingerism: Exhibition opens to tackle abuse towards France's redheads
Photo: Pascal Sacleux

Gingerism or abuse of red-heads might not be an issue you would associate with France but a French photographer is holding an exhibition to highlight the prejudice facing the country's ginger-haired people.


Jokes about red heads might just seem all fun and games, but it's no laughing matter for one French photographer whose exhibition is aiming to tackle the prejudice known as Gingerism. 

“It’s a form of racism that has persisted for centuries,” says French photographer Pascal Sacleux, a red-head himself, whose series of portraits of 30 ginger-haired people has caught the attention of French people.

The English name for the exhibition is “Brittany: Freckles Rock” and the portraits aim to show the beauty of red-heads in the historically Celtic region of western France where many if not most of the country's flame-haired citizens live. 

Sacleux wants to promote “la roussitude” (ginger-ness, or ginger-pride, taken from the “negritude” movement), encouraging those born with the world’s rarest hair colour to feel proud to be different.

“Many red-heads have really been hurt growing up, and some are destroyed socially,” says Sacleux.

So much so that it was too painful a subject for some of the those he tried to photograph. “Some people refused to meet with me, saying that it would be pointless to rub salt in the wound,” explained Sacleux.

Luckily, lots of people saw the point in his exhibition, and the project has so far crowdfunded most of the required €3,500 to get the portraits printed onto large canvasses which will form a mosaic in the airport hall.

The exhibition opened at Rennes airport on Monday May 1st and will run until June 15th 2017. 

You can see some of the portraits in the video below: 

By Rose Trigg



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