Estelle Hanania

2017 Be There, Be Entertained! (exhibition)

It’s Friday night and in the effervescence of the city sounds the call to prayer resounds in the streets of Yogyakarta, a Javanese city with a muslim majority. At the same time, another sound, almost imperceptible from outside, escapes from the roof of a shopping mall in the city centre. It is 19:30, and like every week in the same place, the loud speakers of the Raminten cabaret begin to vibrate when Céline Dion, Rihanna and Arianna Grande, alias Suzzaravina, Jie Na and Rirhie Stephanie, three young transvestites, step onto the stage dressed as their favourite singer. Same city, same place, another ritual.
How can a group of individuals or an entire society find an antidote to their shackles? How do you conform to social or religious norms while simultaneously expressing your ambivalence, your indisputable part in fantasy? Following different works about rituals in Europe, photographer Estelle Hanania continues her kaleidoscopic exploration of the costumes and individual adventures of those seeking to escape through partying, metamorphosis and humour.