As a proud red head, I feel very happy that my portrait features in this amazing book and project by photographer, Marina Rosso.
The Beautiful Gene is the new editorial project self-published by Fabrica of photographer Marina Rosso under the editorial direction of Enrico Bossan, head of slow journalism department, on the possible effects of artificial insemination on human kind: the extinction of red haired people.
In September 2011 the world’s biggest sperm bank stopped accepting red haired donors for a period: demand for them was too low compared to the supply. After being scorned, persecuted and marginalized for centuries, could redheads now begin to be eliminated in a conspiracy of online questionnaires, aseptic clinics and frozen sperm?
Marina decided to act as a conservation geneticist who would classify the genetic variation of a species in the first step to preserve its diversity and components. She started by creating a matrix that would represent the red hair gene through 48 categories, each uniquely combining this feature with five more physical traits (gender, height, build, eye color and hair type). Then she set out on a journey looking for real people who could literally embody these categories. Marina took 204 portraits and later selected 47 of them. One category is still missing.