A KALTBLUT exclusive. Photography by Giulia Gr. Text and modelling by Isabella Fumagalli. Makeup, Hair and Text by Astrid Mogren. The project is a conversation between three artists who came together to work on the theme of growth through the loss of self. Sharing akin sensibility – and consequences – over the trauma caused by patriarchal structures and oppressions towards femininity and identity, the project is a stream of visual and written emotions narrated from the point of view of Isabella and her experience as a transgender woman.

The text is a letter to herself, a powerful and justified rant over what she has lost along the way but at the same time a soothing reminder of how much honesty and growth this loss generated.

‘I come from dreams.
I come from dreams of love, dreams of touch, dreams of joy.
I come from loss.
I come from loss of land, loss of trust, loss of self.
Far underneath my skin lies the remains of the life I once lived. A life that wasn’t mine.
A life that cannot be erased, nor can it be forgotten. But that life wasn’t true, and it was never meant to last.

Transitioning is not as physical as some may think. It is a revolutionary process that starts once you have synchronized your heart, your soul and your brain. It took me 24 years of life to realize who I am, who I always was. Not who they thought I was meant to be.

I gave up on what was demanded of me. On what I thought I had to be to make other people happy. I lost trust in the people who said they would protect me but rejected me when I needed them the most.
By letting go of what was no longer serving me I was able to gain strength, to reach clarity that would allow me to expand. By welcoming myself as she was always meant to exist, I made space for love and changed my energy to attract good.

I never want to repeat my past, never go back to how I used to be. But if I could, I would have done so many things differently back then. I’m no longer trying to claim the image of myself that I once thought was complete. I’m releasing myself from my past and allowing myself to let go of all that was hurting then. Of the idea of what I thought I had to be. Instead, I became honest, I became True.
I fear for the future, a future of not being able to live a happy life. I fear a life where my identity does not match how society perceives me and my body. I don’t know where I am going to end, nor what awaits people like me. What happens when we get to live all through our life as we are? I will always keep growing, but to do so I need my surroundings to grow too.

I have gone through great losses to become whole.
I have lost land. I have lost culture. I have lost religion.
I have lost the child that once thought she was wrong and I have lost the child that once used to play. I have shed skin so many times, having no control over which parts of myself would be buried along the way or who would be left behind.’

Text and model: Isabella Fumagalli @inventing.bella
Mua, Hair and text: Astrid Mogren @astrid.mogren
Photography by Giulia Gr @giuliag.r

Isabella Fumagalli (she/her) is a transgender woman born and raised in a small town in Guatemala. After moving to Europe she has taken part in several activism demonstrations and social movements in Berlin to make the world a safer space for transgender people and everyone else. Fighting against patriarchy and police brutality, she is a strong feminist voice and wishes to be remembered as a fashion icon who inspires others to feel safe and comfortable in their bodies.

Astrid Mogren (they/she) is a creative and makeup artist currently based in Dublin. Their work is inspired by their several years spent in Berlin surrounded by queer excellence as well as their own experiences of queer love and community.

Giulia Gr (she/her) is a visual artist based in Berlin. Focusing mostly on photography, video art and multimedia installations, her inspiration is driven by everyday life, relationships with others and vulnerability as a whole. Her photography portrays friends, lovers and artists from the scene and shooting together is always experienced as a powerful yet intimate moment, almost ritualistic.