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SOMOS - The youth deconstructing gender norms

SOMOS gives voice to 13 youngsters aged nine to twenty-seven who are deconstructing standards and affirming their identities. They are trans, non-binary, or gender creative and are speaking up in order to share their experiences and feelings about their identity. Their sharp and honest words are hard-hitting. SOMOS extends an invitation to listen to voices that are too often silenced, and to realise how beautiful becoming oneself can be.

  • Laura Krsmanovic
  • Lydie Nesvadba
  • Liyo Gong
  • Le Motel
  • Christophe Loerke
  • Maxime Tellier
  • Blurbs.be
    Translation and subtitles
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    SOMOS - Ces jeunes qui déconstruisent les normes du genre
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Web / New Media, Other
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, French
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Laura Krsmanovic, Lydie Nesvadba

Laura Krsmanovic is a young director based in Brussels, Belgium. She divided her time between podcasts direction and awareness campaigns for social and environmental issues. Laura Krsmanovic is also a member of the "254Forest" creative collective. The day after the first covid lockdown in April 2020, she created “ISOLA”, the podcast that takes you on a journey into invisible worlds; Towards things we don’t see but that bring us together. The launch of the podcast is then marked by the release of “Confined outside”. “Stay at home, yes. But what if you don’t have a home? “. This is the question Laura raises through her first episode.

Lydie Nesvadba is a french photographer. She lives in Brussels, Belgum and divides her time between commission work and personal projects. Her interest in portraits and documentaries places the human being at the heart of her work. Favoring meetings, she makes us dive into the eyes of those who agree to give themselves up.

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Director Statement

“I strongly believe that we are neither men nor women. We are just living bodies.” Paul B. Preciado

What does it mean to “be yourself”? Who can answer the question “who am I?” without wavering, without hesitation? When asked to “define” ourselves it’s tempting to fall back on the rigid and preconceived identities which we have been (either implicitly or explicitly) encouraged to conform to. We emphasize our personalities, our lifestyles and our habits: stable traits which therefore allow others to identify us. But, shouldn’t we only truly conform to ourselves? Being yourself isn’t actually a question of identity, but one of personal truth. Being yourself isn’t a fact, it’s an adventure, an experience made up of doubt and accomplishments, a deeply human experience. Being human means being a living body on a constant and tireless quest for its own truth.
The transgender movement is challenging some of the most entrenched beliefs in our society, notably the founding idea that the world is divided into two categories: men and women.

When we look at the sociology of gender, we observe that it’s not only biological and physical inheritance but also socially constructed. Gender development begins in early childhood. This development is flooded with stereotypes related to the body and socialization: having your period, flirting, toilets, toys, sports, school, etc. The binary is thus imposed, and everyone must correspond to the sex that nature allotted them, like an inescapable prophecy. In the binary model, "sex", "gender" and "sexuality" are aligned by default.

At a time when press, television, radio, and cinema are seizing on trans identity through new forms of clichés - ranging from glamorization to exclusion - how can we bring the debate to the public with accuracy and poetry?

A reappropriation of the discourse and vocabulary by transgender people is necessary, because society considered and defined them as “sick” for so long. To depathologize is to allow another vision of individual development, detached from the principle that "we are what nature gave us".

Girl, boy, a mixture of both... Sacha is 18 years old and has chosen his masculine name since he was 10. He is part of a new generation of young transgender people who manage to affirm their identity more quickly. A difficult transition, but no longer impossible. This new generation is sending us signals of what could be our future, if only we paid more attention. What if these young people could join forces and become their own spokesperson? This generation is inventing a new culture and new ways of life. They confront our beliefs and prejudices, and perhaps our apathy. They embody the need for a renewed, inclusive world. They wish to create a context where gender is no longer assigned, but expressed and developed according to the individual codes of each person.

Through this film, our desire is to provoke empathy and to refine the public's view of trans identity among young people. It’s about eliciting emotion without victimizing. To create a safe space to speak out in order to show that, when you are a trans person, you are not just trans, not just one gender. The goal is to give a voice to the realities of these young people and simultaneously allowing them to take control of the narrative of their identities.

"SOMOS" is a poetic, respectful, human, and non-stereotyped way to open up discussion on transidentity by giving voice to young people deconstructing gender norms.