Transformation from a Geisha to Superwoman.


3 Aug 2019 OUTDOORS
Transformation from a Geisha to Superwoman.

Featuring: Haruka Sakaguchi and Griselda San Martin

Presented by

United Photo Industries

Project was featured at the Annenberg Space for Photography presents Photoville LA in April 2019

Lack of diversity is one of the most deep-rooted–and oldest–problems in the film industry. While ethnic minorities constitute nearly half of the U.S. population, only 13.9% of leading roles have been played by POC actors.

While the lack of representation has received several nods in recent years through movements like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite, ethnic minority actors to this day are frequently asked to play stereotypes–from maids and immigrants, to thugs and prostitutes–and struggle to get cast in complex, authentic, and layered roles.

Typecast is a satirical portrait series focused on stereotypical typecasting practices in the entertainment industry. We made one set of portraits of our POC actors embodying roles they are often typecast in, and we made alternative portraits of the actors embodying their ideal roles.

Through this project, we hope to:

1) challenge negative stereotypes of ethnic minorities reinforced by mainstream film and media
2) present an alternative image of POC actors in nuanced protagonist roles
3) advance conversations about how racial stereotypes can shape public opinion and inform policy.


Griselda San Martin is a Spanish documentary photographer currently based in New York City. She is a graduate of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism program at the International Center of Photography (ICP), and holds a Masters in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

San Martin’s work challenges popular assumptions about immigrants, and offers an alternative perspective―a marginalized community demonstrating resilience and resourcefulness amidst trying situations.

Her photography and video projects have been exhibited internationally and featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Republic, and California Sunday Magazine, as well as other publications.

Website | Instagram | Twitter

Haruka Sakaguchi is a Japanese documentary photographer based in New York City. She was born in Osaka, Japan, and immigrated to the U.S. with her parents when she was three months old.

Haruka’s documentary work focuses on cultural identity and sense of place, and has been published in The New York Times, TIME, The New Yorker, British Journal of Photography, and BuzzFeed. Her recent project 1945 was on display at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo in 2018.

Website | Instagram