atlas of beauty

The Atlas of Beauty, II



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Video: The Atlas of Beauty, II



The world’s streets and squares are Mihaela Noroc’s workplace. Since 2013, she has traveled to over fifty different countries, photographing women.

Noroc’s aim is to document true beauty. She’s photographed women in Myanmar, Romania’s capital Bucharest, Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, in Finland and Ecuador.

Mihaela Noroc, Photographer: “Women’s faces, that’s an enigma for me because I still don’t know. I just let myself be impressed by the people I see on the street.

And when somebody catches my attention or I feel there is something interesting inside her, or maybe it’s like a chemistry or an energy that is happening; something you cannot control, I go and photograph her.”

At the age of 27, Noroc quit her job at a TV production company at Bucharest, took her savings and set off to pursue her dream project: The Atlas of Beauty.

She’s already photographed hundreds of women, and documented their stories:

• This South African woman sells meat in a Cape Town slum.

• This Indian lady is almost one-hundred years old.

• This German woman has overcome cancer, twice.

Mihaela Noroc wants her pictures to capture female calm, enthusiasm and strength.

Mihaela Noroc, Photographer: “Mostly if you look at the media, you see, let’s call it “an atlas of wars”, problems. And I’m trying to do is put into perspective is the fact that maybe let’s not change the situation. Let’s accept it like that: it’s beautiful in its own way.”

Noroc uploads the pictures and the women’s stories. Her project has already received a million likes on Facebook, and her Tumbler blog is one of the most popular sites on that platform.

The photographer funds herself mainly through crowd-funding.

Mihaela Noroc, Photographer: “I’m looking for people who can give us probably hope, or people that have something inspiring or people that show their inner beauty.

That’s really important for me. I’m really trying to showcase the strength that we have.”

One of her most memorable journeys was to North Korea in September 2015. She wanted to take photographs of women in everyday situations in an isolated country because apart from its politics, little is known about North Korea.

Noroc managed to photograph more than twenty women — more than she’d expected.

Mihaela Noroc, Photographer: “I travelled in North Korea, and there I was always accompanied by a guide, so my experience was “filtered”, let’s say.

But what I found amazing was that I was able to talk to women, and stop them on the street and photograph them for my project, which I thought was very interesting.”

Today Mihaela Noroc is in Milan. Her project is demanding. She’s got to be upbeat so that women on the street will open up to her. And she must appear honest and trustworthy to convince them of her project.

These two women from Rome are visiting the city.

Woman One: “It’s an interesting project. It’s very nice. So we were very happy for that.

Mihaela Noroc has taken pictures of many different women.

But what does beauty mean to her?

Mihaela Noroc, Photographer: “Beauty is extremely diverse. Beauty is in a look, in a handshake, in a smile. I don’t know. It’s an energy. It’s around us.

You just really have to be attentive, yeah. And you have to be open to see it, because it can pass you by, and you will not notice it.

But beauty is everywhere.”

Mihaela Noroc plans to continue her travels throughout the world in celebration of female beauty and of life itself.

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1. Mihaela works in a photography studio in her hometown. True or false?

2. Does she only photograph professional models and tall, young, slim women? Who does she photo?

3. Ms. Noroc’s background is a fashion photographer. Is this right or wrong?

4. Does she only photography women?

5. She works for National Geographic. National Geographic Magazine pays her a salary. Is this correct or incorrect? Has her projects become successful?

6. Was Mihaela Noroc’s most interesting experience in New York City? Was she able to photograph and write about women there?

7. Is her job easy or does she need motivation and enthusiasm? Do all women cooperate with her?

8. She is philosophical about her work and the meaning of true beauty. Yes or no?


A. I would like to do what Mihaela Noroc is doing. Yes or no? Would your friends like to?

B. In your opinion where are there lots of beautiful women?

C. Do you have ideas for a startup or project like Mihaela’s?

D. What will happen in the future?

E. Rich people and large corporations should fund people with interesting, strange, different or crazy ideas. What do you think?


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