the project.

1 photographer
2000 people 
14 countries
1250 rolls of film
15,000 photographs
1 single humanity

“Fifteen Percent” is an art project that aims to combat stereotypes by portraying the many facets and identities of individuals across the world, in an expressive effort that aims to celebrate diversity as a resource for the whole of humanity.

“FifteenPercent” is the proportion of the world’s population which is made up of persons with disabilities.

The objective of the project is to put a new light on persons with disabilities and their stories and to raise questions among the audience concerning these filters created by stereotypes and misconceptions which have distorted our vision and values.

With the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006, a paradigm shift has taken place to discard the vision of persons with disabilities as objects of charity and medical treatment and to adopt a human rights-based approach which recognizes their rights and values their participation and inclusion in society. 

FifteenPercent commenced in 2015 and aims at portraying the multiple facets and identities of humanity as a celebration of difference and diversity.  Every frame of the project is centered on the personal story of the subject, first and foremost as an individual with their personal stories and ambitions.  Disability becomes just one element among many which make up one’s identity.  

FifteenPercent seeks to raise awareness and understanding that our communities are ever enriched by the diversity of its members, be they persons with disabilities, women, youth, older persons, persons belonging to minorities and all other groups.  And our communities can only be strengthened by ensuring the inclusion of each of its members.  

The project is thus a call to embrace diversity as part and parcel of humanity.  The stories that compose the work derive from: Italy, Ecuador, Romania, Nepal, Germany, Albania, Cuba, Mongolia, India, Ireland, Switzerland, Kenya, and Cambodia.

 “When I began this project and started to travel to take photos, I asked the people I met to tell me their point of view, to choose how they wanted to be photographed - how they wanted to be represented in order to challenge the stereotypes they face. 

What you see here is a collective project where each subject chose their own way to be represented. 

It is not only my work, but the work of everyone represented here.” 

Christian Tasso

about.

Christian Tasso is an independent artist and photographer, born in Italy in 1986.

Mainly self-taught, he devoted himself to professional photography starting in 2007 with his first project entitled "The Last Drop", for which the following year he won many international photo awards. For six months, he lived and worked with a family of farmers from the Marche region in Italy, and recounted their daily life through images. This first project opened up his curiosity for the themes which continue to accompany his work til today, such as: community customs and rituals, the search for identity through and with others, the interaction between humanity and nature, the relationship between memory and territory.

Commissioned by an Italian NGO in 2009, Christian began the "Saharawi" project documenting the lives of people with disabilities in Western Sahara. From this experience the photographic project "Nothing and so be it" was conceived, for which he won the award of "The Aftermath Project" in Los Angeles in 2011. His experience in the Sahara inhabited him throughout the following years, leading him to return there several times to give voice to the local population through his images.

In 2013, Christian rented an apartment within the largest multi-ethnic apartment block in Italy, known as “Hotel House”. This building complex, which became a frequently covered case in the media, is described as a ghetto in which violence and criminality are distributed across sixteen floors and which is home to over thirty different ethnic groups living together. Christian photographed the residents for two months, telling their stories of search and survival. Having been accepted into their community, he organized a photography course for the children and adolescent tenants, which culminated in an exhibition with the support of Social Funds of the European Community.

 

Following the experience of Hotel House, Christian devoted himself almost exclusively to long-term projects. In 2016, he made the documentary "MadrEmilia" commissioned by the University of Modena and Reggio-Emilia which focused on the life of Pier Vittorio Tondelli, an Italian writer who was commonly censored for writing about homosexuality. The film was distributed by RAI, Italy’s main television station.

In 2015, he launched “FifteenPercent” which documents the lives of persons with disabilities around the world. The project was published in a limited edition book and exhibited in many places included, among the others, Palais des Nations, United Nations HeadQuarter in Geneva. The complete book of the project will be published in 2020 and will be distributed together with the continuing tour of the FifteenPercent exhibition.

 
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© Christian Tasso