Solenn Heussaff apologizes after being accused of 'poverty porn' to promote art | Inquirer Entertainment
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Solenn Heussaff apologizes after being accused of ‘poverty porn’ to promote art

/ 11:34 AM March 04, 2021
Solenn Heussaff

Solenn Heussaff (Image: Instagram/@solenn)

Solenn Heussaff has responded to criticism about her choice to promote her art exhibit with a photo taken in the slums.

The actress-artist trended on Twitter yesterday, March 3, as she faced backlash on her Instagram post. She is seen sitting on a wooden chair, a painting of tropical leaves behind her, and one of her rugs beneath the chair and painting. Behind her is a busy street with a dilapidated house, a sari-sari store and passersby.

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Solenn Heussaff

Solenn Heussaff’s now-deleted controversial post (Image: Instagram/@solenn)

Heussaff responded to the criticism on Instagram and on Twitter before deleting the post, issuing an apology today, March 4.

Among the comments she responded to prior to deleting her photo was from @imalittlewillow, who wrote, “You’re a great artist but this photo was done in poor taste. Using poverty to promote your art is very insensitive. Rich people and their poverty porn.”

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Heussaff responded, “Sorry this is not my intention at all. If this was shot in the middle of BGC then you would say [I] live in a bubble.”

“I love my country and everything that makes it what it is. Maybe when you see the full exhibit you will understand what I’m trying to bring to light,” she added.

“Poverty is not aesthetic,” @davidbadvibes told her on Twitter.

“It [definitely isn’t]. Sorry you are seeing it that way,” she replied.

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Some also questioned her methods of attempting to raise awareness on poverty and how it would benefit the poor.

“Do you really need a curated art exhibit to make you see or grasp the concept of poverty? It has to be some abstract concept displayed on a 100k worth oil on canvas? When 80% of our population lives that way and you can take a quick Grab ride to Tondo or San Andres Bukid,” noted @CloudClauds on Twitter.

“My two cents on the Solenn issue: we don’t need more rich celebrities raising awareness on poverty in this country. What we need are people who are able to bring solutions and tangible help to our marginalized communities,” said @josherquizon.

Heussaff took accountability for the photo in her statement, noting that it was her own idea and not that of a team. She also said she “did not want to romanticize the poverty of the everyday Pinoy or the resiliency that we naturally have.”

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A post shared by Solenn Heussaff (@solenn)


“I’ve been thinking a lot about the comments you guys left on the photo I posted. I know it sparked some debate and there were both good and bad takes on it. While I appreciate the encouragement some shared, I also want to apologize to those I have hurt,” she stated on Instagram.

“Wanted to shoot it in a typical street, those we drive by [every day]. Streets full of life, since all my paintings are about the people we see. Not the rich or the poor but people for who they are. Humanity,” she explained. “The choice of painting was to show the environmental side. The abundance and balance of what life was, but also growth and hope.”

“Though yes, art is subjective, and your thoughts made me more sensitive to different perspectives on my choice of setting (it [wasn’t] a terrible marketing team, it was me, no one else to blame) and this really was a learning experience for me,” she said. “It wasn’t my intention to hurt or offend anyone. It was my hope that I could lend my voice and my art to show the reality of Filipinos.”  /ra

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TAGS: apology, Art, Poverty, poverty porn, Solenn Heussaff
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