© Floriane de Lassée / image courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
THE THINGS THEY CARRIED

Photos: People around the world show their strength by balancing favorite objects on their heads

By Thu-Huong Ha

How much can you carry?

It’s the question Floriane de Lassée quite literally posed to people she met on her travels. For her aptly named series “How Much Can You Carry?” she asked people to choose the objects most important to them. She then posed them with their belongings, made to look like they’re carrying them on their heads. (In some cases, they really are.)

De Lassée writes in an email to Quartz that she was inspired by seeing women in Ethiopia coming home from the market. She says:

“Ethiopia is the country of the best athletic runners in the world, so I decided that I would stop photography to become a professional runner. While I was running, I was passing women carrying a lot of goods to or from the market. I felt ashamed of myself to ‘sweat for nothing.'”

Since she began in 2012, the photographer has brought her project to six other countries: Rwanda, Nepal, India, Japan, Indonesia, Bolivia, and Brazil. Below, a selection of impressive lifts from the series.

© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Alfonse, Rwanda, 2012
© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Yoko, Japan, 2013
© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Tekle, Ethiopia, 2012
© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Oldman, Japan, 2013
© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Marem, Ethiopia, 2012
© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Gopal, Nepal, 2013
© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Gale, Ethiopia, 2012
© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Filles, Nepal, 2013
© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Elly and Farra, Indonesia, 2013
© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Dokalia, India, 2013
© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Celia, Bolivia, 2013
© Florinane de Lassée / Image Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Aru, Ethiopia, 2012