Monday 1 October 2018

Photography & Gender Dynamics post #MeToo

This weekend I attended the event, Photography & Gender Dynamics post #MeToo, held at the Photographers Gallery. The panel included:

Federica Chiocchetti
Hannah Watson
Khairani Barokka
Natasha Caruana
Ami Bouhassane
Juno Calypso

Overall, I really enjoyed the talks, but felt they were selected more with regard to their work on women and sexuality or unfair gender dynamics rather than coming together around the theme of #MeToo, particularly during the Q&A. Chiochetti's introduction touched on important themes related to the movement, such as healing, and society's obsession with women's fertility, sense of entitlement, etc. 

I was reminded how much I love the work of Lee Miller (Ami is Lee's granddaughter) and was sad to learn about her childhood sexual abuse and the ways in which it impacted her mental health in her adult years. 

Moreover, I was very happy to be introduced to Natasha and Khairani's work, which I feel is very successful and thought-provoking. Khairani's project did touch on colonial issues around palm oil and lipstick which I found was fascinating and important - that is, to become aware about the disconnect with the indigenous women who suffer from the devastation of their ecosystems to obtain palm oil and the women who wear the lipsticks that contain it. 

One interesting question that kept coming up was what, if anything, should be the visual icon of #MeToo? While feminisms and stories are multiplicities and pluralities, perhaps this is a good start?

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