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Jennifer Osborne January 18, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Colombia.

Beauty Queen. Cartagena, Colombia 2009

Jennifer Osborne (1984, Canada) was raised on Vancouver Island in small-town Courtenay. Her career as a photographer started with a  year long work contract at Fabrica, the United COLORS of Benetton Research Center in 2008.  She has exhibited in group shows at various venues including: Arles 2010, Aperture Gallery, The Museum de l’Elysée, Studio La Città, Azzedine Alaïa, Art Basel Miami, Catalog Gallery and CarréRotondes. She was named one of Canada’s top emerging photographers in both 2010 and 2011 by the Magenta Foundation. Jennifer is also a part of the ReGeneration2 book publication and traveling exhibition. In 2012, she shot a worldwide campaign for Nikon cameras and was the recipient of the Pride Photo Award under the “Chameleons” category for her work in Vancouver, Canada.

About the Photograph:

“At the annual Reina de la Independencia beauty pageant in Colombia, young women from Cartagena’s poorest neighborhoods vie not just for a glittering crown but also for the chance to win money, scholarships, rich men, and even jump-start a career. Beauty, for Colombia, is a natural resource. During my time in the barrios of Cartagena, I was living in the small house of the candidate from Blas de Lezo. I paid her family to rent a room there, and was also able to attend all of the smaller pageants she competed in as well. We would take public transport everywhere we went and in this case were on one of the famously decorated South American buses. The candidate sat towards the back and I asked her to go farther towards the religious decal on the window of the bus. It’s interesting to see how these girls are often parading themselves around like pieces of meat, in bikinis, on catwalks, yet they are often deeply religious. It’s an interesting combination of beliefs to me.”