Faces of Fearless

Despite all the dialogues about equality, women and non-binary people are still stereotyped even in Western countries, especially if they try to fit into male-dominated spaces. They have long been discriminated against by society and made to believe that they are inferior or less important than men.

Project Fearless, founded by Mérida Miller, is a space to build an empowering and supportive atmosphere by organizing activities for girls and non-binary youth (aged 9-14) in Amsterdam. They can learn new skills while discovering who they are, on their own terms. It’s about progress and the process of doing, moving away from perfectionist thinking and encouraging a growth mindset.
Project Fearless provides them with the opportunity to be part of a team and this is meant to teach the importance of supporting, uplifting, motivating, and investing in others’ success. Also, it aims to create a truly open and accepting environment welcoming gender fluid, polygender, and gender non-conforming people, as well as those who are currently discovering their self-identity. At the start of each course, they ask all their participants to state their pronouns, to respect everyone’s identity.

The collaboration with Project Fearless and the desire to work on a photographic series named “Faces of Fearless” were born because I stand with Mérida’s purpose: it’s essential to empower young girls and non-binary youth to define how they see themselves from scratch.
From there, from their confidence and self-awareness, we could make a difference in how our culture considers girls, women and gender-diverse people.

The series consists of 10 photographs portraying one kid for each activity. Each image comes with a brief statement, where each subject answers the question ”What makes you fearless”?


Alma, Run club

Portrait of Alma, part of the series Faces of Fearless. 
Photo taken in Amsterdam.
Alma (he/they)

“I’ve been doing this course for a really long time and I kept up even when it was hard and I just really try to do my best a lot and don’t give up that much. That’s what makes me fearless.”

Zoë, Skateboarding (age group 9-11)

Portrait of Zoe, part of the series Faces of Fearless. 
Photo taken in Amsterdam.
Zoë (she/her)

‘’I think that it makes me fearless that I’m a girl and I’m on a board in a skatepark and there are a lot of boys but I still can do cool tricks so that can make me fearless.’’

Meesha, Skateboarding (age group 12-14)

Portrait of Meesha, part of the series Faces of Fearless. 
Photo taken in Amsterdam.
Meesha (she/her)

‘’What makes me fearless is probably being able to see other women and girls doing stuff I want to do, so when I see them doing it I know I am able to do it and I just have the urgent need to just go and try out.’’

Thea, Bouldering

Portrait of Thea, part of the series Faces of Fearless. 
Photo taken in Amsterdam.
Thea (she/her)

‘’ What makes me fearless, I guess knowing that when you finish doing what you’ve done you’re still ok, if you don’t want to do something, you’ll still be fine afterwards, so yeah, I get courage from that if I’m scared to do something like a corona test .’’

Miriam, Kickboxing (centrum)

Portrait of Miriam, part of the series Faces of Fearless. 
Photo taken in Amsterdam.
Miriam (she/her)

“ What makes me fearless is knowing that everyone will support me when I try something new and knowing that if others can do it, I can too. And that everyone is really nice and that I will be supported.”

Dora, Entrepreneurship

Portrait of Dora, part of the series Faces of Fearless. 
Photo taken in Amsterdam.
Dora (she/her)

“What makes me fearless it’s especially my attitude. So when I just decided to just go for it, then I’m already in the middle of the action. So I don’t have to think of the fears as much as before, because if I don’t then I just think through everything, and then it makes me more scared, so just going for it is the easiest way. Also being supported by other people, because I feel like there’s always something positive in what I do, and being optimistic.”

Terriann, ARTivism with Polaroid

Portrait of Terriann, part of the series Faces of Fearless. 
Photo taken in Amsterdam.
Terriann (she/her)

“I dare to stand up for other people, not only myself, and I think that makes me fearless’’

Deshamiley, Football

Portrait of Deshamiley, part of the series Faces of Fearless. 
Photo taken in Amsterdam.
Deshamiley (she/her)

“I’m not scared of things I’m doing and I’m doing things I want to do.’’

Intissar, Football

Portrait of Intissara, part of the series Faces of Fearless. 
Photo taken in Amsterdam.
Intissar (she/her)

“Football makes me fearless because I am able to clear my head when I’m playing and I don’t think of anything anymore”

Tenzin, Kickboxing (New West)

Portrait of Tenzin, part of the series Faces of Fearless. 
Photo taken in Amsterdam.
Tenzin (she/her)

“I am not scared to dance and be on stage, and be in front of people and perform.”

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