Mihaela Noroc, 31, is a very unique kind of cartographer. The Bucharest-based photographer has set out to map “the diversity of our planet,” by creating portraits of women from a wide range of countries. Noroc calls the project The Atlas of Beauty, and Women in the World has previously covered her work when she shared images taken in India and North Korea.
In a new profile by The Wall Street Journal, Noroc explained how a 2013 trip to Ethiopia was a transformational experience — a moment in which she realized how she could combine her passions for travel and photography, and make a statement about the disparities in the lives of women, both within and between countries. “My aim is to have a message about tolerance and to change the way that women are portrayed in the last 30 years in the media,” she told the WSJ, observing that while women in Europe and the U.S. enjoy relatively equal rights with men, “in other parts of the world, the inequality is heartbreaking.”
India and Egypt were the most difficult locations to perform her work, she said — in the latter, she was surrounded by an angry group of men and threatened because she was photographing women. Sometimes her subjects need to seek permission from a husband or other male relative before their photos can be taken. To add to these difficulties, Noroc had a phobia she needed to face in order to fulfill her goals.
Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.