Karolin Klüppel was born in 1985 in Germany. She studied Photography at the School of Art and Design in Kassel and at the Faculdade de Belas Artes in Lisbon. Since 2012, she regularly exhibits in galleries, museums and festivals, including the “Voies Off” festival in Arles in 2012 and “Festival Circulation(s)” in Paris in 2015. In 2014 she received the Canon Profifoto Award for her recent project “Mädchenland.” Her work is regularly published in international magazines such as The Independent New Review, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The New York Times Lensblog, Marie Claire, etc. In her artistic work she is concerned with gender relations and matrilinial or matriarchal societies.
Mädchenland (Kingdom of Daughters), 2013-2014
In the state of Meghalaya in India, the indigenous people of the Khasi with 1,1 million members form the majority of the population. The Khasi are a matrilineal society. Here, traditionally it is the girls who are of particularly importance and who play an exposed role in the family. The line of succession passes through the youngest daughter. If she marries, her husband is taken into her family‘s house, and the children take their mother‘s name. A family with just sons is considered unlucky, because only daughters can assure the continuity of a clan. The succession after maternal line guarantees girls and women in Meghalaya a unique economic and social independence compared to general indian conditions. To disrespect a woman in the khasi culture means to harm the society.
Between 2013 and 2014, Klüppel spent nine months in the khasivillage of Mawlynnong in north-east India, a village of just 95 dwellings. In this series she concentrates on the girls themselves in contextualizing them in their everyday physical environment through a sensitive balance between documentation and composition.
To view more of Karolin’s work, please visit his website.