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Colour Analysis

Purple

The colour of the “pussyhats” is pink. Pink symbolises femininity? Pink is pretty, kind and romantic? Pink is the colour of a pussy? With the symbol being the colour pink really sets the tone for exclusivity amongst women. As I have previously mentioned, not every women’s pussy is pink and not only that but not every woman has a pussy. This informs the implication that pink is considered the norm, like white is the norm, thus excluding all non-white people whose pussies aren’t pink. So, here I suggest some alternative colour suggestions for the new symbol. My first suggestion: purple. Although purple is initially connected to royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition it also more importantly represents creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, and pride. Purple is a combination of the strong cool blue and the strong warm energy of red makes it an incredibly balanced colour perfect to represent unity. It is also a rare occurring colour in nature, thus making it a sacred colour and also highly spiritual.

 

Blue

Let’s break this female=pink, male=blue stereotype here and actually look at whether the colour blue would be a better colour symbolically to represent women. Blue is often associated with depth and stability as well as representing trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, and truth. Truth is a very important representation regarding womanhood as with times changing, and society evolving, truth amongst ourselves and others is vital especially given everything that’s going on right now politically speaking. The colour blue is considered to be beneficial to the mind and the body, producing a calming effect, thus representing peace and unity which is perfect for symbolising women. So many attributes connected to the colour blue is what we stand to represent as women, loyalty, trust, intelligence. Blue may represent masculinity but there is so much more to this colour that links to the empowerment of women.

 

Multicoloured

To have the symbol be multi-coloured would obviously be the ultimate choice, however it is already popularly known to be the symbol of the LGBTQ community, but that could only further enforce the symbol in terms of representing strength and ultimate unity amongst women. The rainbow flag is widely known as the pride flag that projects peace, unity, diversity, and was popularised in 1978. The latest version of the rainbow flag was designed in response to Donald Trump becoming President of the United States of America. In this design, the orange stripe has been replaced with a black one. This was modified in order to oppose Trump’s stated values and policies; on social media, he is often associated with the colour orange due to the colour of his “cheeto” skin tone. This was also done to symbolically unify the activist agendas of LGBTQ community with Black Lives Matter as Trump has also made some disgusting racist remarks. Colour symbolism represented by the stripes promotes the statement for healing and for unity, that we must all come together to fight injustice and tyranny amongst us.

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Caitlyn Jenner

The “pussyhat” also excludes transgender women in the fact that those who were not assigned female at birth don’t have “pussys” that allow them to reproduce and some transwomen might not have fully completed the change as the procedures are very expensive and takes time. This is disgusting given how much it seems like we have progressed in today’s society but it fills me with shame to admit that we haven’t actually moved as far as we think or hoped that would have. Still, homophobia and bigotry is still very much in place amongst us and I am deeply saddened that people are so scared and unwilling to accept people as they are and celebrate the strength that comes with people being their true selves. Caitlyn Jenner is probably the most famous transwoman in the world. Born a man, Bruce Jenner, the ‘ultimate’ image of masculinity, winning the decathlon at the Olympics in 1976, the world was shocked when he revealed that since the age of 9 or 10 he knew that he wasn’t truly a man but a woman. With the platform that Jenner stands on, being the ex-husband of Kris Jenner and father to the Kardashians, he stood to achieve an immense amount for the transgender community in terms of encouraging and inspiring people who are struggling to come out and embrace their true selves. Having said that, when Jenner appeared on The Ellen Show in 2015, she shared some views that I found rather odd. When asked about his views on same sex marriage given that she is a Republican and most Republicans would vote against that, she said that when the issue first came up she was “not for it” claiming that she was a “traditionalist” but has since “changed [her] thinking” and is “on board with it”. This confuses me so much as if you identify as a woman, which Bruce did at the time, wouldn’t you believe in same sex marriage? I’m not judging, anyone has the right to believe whatever they want, but I’m just confused as to how she could think that at any time. As Ellen strongly says in response “marriage is marriage and equality is equality” and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

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RuPaul’s Drag Race

RuPaul’s Drag Race is a reality TV show whereby contestants compete to become RuPaul’s America’s next drag superstar. The show is aired internationally and is the highest rated show on its channel, Logo TV after running for 8 seasons. The show won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Program in 2010 and RuPaul also won an Emmy in 2016 for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program which is such an amazing achievement. The other issue that the “pussyhat” poses is that it also excludes transwomen. Although RuPaul’s drag race doesn’t 100% focus on transgender women (some contestants, since being on the show, have transitioned fully including Carmen Carrera and Monica Beverly Hillz), more that of drag queens, where men transform into their female persona or alter ego, it again raises the question of what it is to be classed as ‘a woman’. With this show being so celebrated and globally known, it suggests that this is not only excelling in terms of entertainment but also for the LGBTQ community in terms of acceptance and I applaud it.  I think that RuPaul has done an amazing thing here, by creating a place where people can get their name out there and fully embrace their true self, as RuPaul’s Drag Race has been known to launch people into stardom.

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Exclusion Attached to the “pussyhat”

http://www.tcs.cam.ac.uk/comment/0036570-i-didn-t-go-to-the-women-s-march-it-was-inaccessible-white-tokenism.html

There are many issues that the “pussyhat” poses as a symbol of ‘womanhood’ and this article deals with the issue of the exclusion attached to the symbol in terms of race and ethnicity. What even is womanhood? Times have definitely changed, a lot, and society today has broadened the sense of what it means to be a woman. In this article author Amiya Nagpal, who is Indian, eloquently states that the colour of the pussy hat being pink excludes any non-white woman: “The march conflated womanhood with having a vagina. The march conflated being a woman with having a pink vagina. Pictures from the various events show seas of people in bright pink vagina hat. My vagina is not pink.” These marches were supposed to be about uniting all women and not dictated by white supremacy. The pink pussy hats are a physical manifestation of the failure that comes with liberal feminism in terms of its inability to be self-reflexive, which is why feminism must be intersectional in order to have any kind of meaning. All representations of womanhood must be represented in order to truly project an image of unity and embracing diversity. However, like I said this is only one of the issues linked to the “pussyhat”…

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The Origin

The “pussyhat” symbol derives from one of the many heinous, misogynistic, sexist things the new President of the United States, Donald Trump has said: “Grab them by the pussy”. When I heard it I literally could not believe my ears, it’s so disgusting and disrespectful and insanely derogatory. In response to this inhumane comment, women decided to use the pussy to “grab back” making a statement to Trump that he could not abuse women ever and that women would fight his defilement and misogyny by using his own words against him. On the surface, yes, it sounds rather clever and effective in theory but when you add the “pussyhats” as a physical manifestation it has conjured up a few problems that fail to project what they were striving for. Not only have these words left Trump’s lips but now that he is President not only has he banned Muslims from entering the country but has just recently lifted the Federal protections for transgender students’ bathroom use. I honestly don’t understand how this tyrant is in power of anything let alone an entire country. It seriously blows my mind. This all boils down to rights – human rights and how transgender people are in fact people and all have the right to be protected and to use whichever bathroom they so identify with. This infuriates me to no end, that this single individual has only been in power for just over a month and has already set the country and the world back decades. Excluding select ‘groups’ and ‘types’ of people, categorizing them, profiling them, is ridiculous and America stands to represent diversity as a country and freedom and liberty and it’s ‘leader’ is not acknowledging this in any way, shape, or form.

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The Pussyhat

After doing intensive research over various fields, I have decided to set my topic of further development and study to be the Women’s March, more specifically the symbol of the march: the pink pussyhat. As my mind map shows, this is my train of thought and areas of interest for this topic. It was meeting Amiya at FREAK, who features in y test shoot, and talking about her blog and feminism that we ended up speaking about this which is what drove it forward. The issues surrounding equality and acceptance in today’s society, particularly surrounding race, ethnicity, and gender. I think that it is imperative that we come up with a symbol that unites ALL women and not just white women who were assigned female at birth. In all of the regression that we are being forced to endure in this political climate today, we should unite to achieve support and equality within the community of a human race and band together to affect change.

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Test Shoot – FREAK

These photographs were taken at a London club night named, FREAK, a night embracing individuality and personality where you can feel free to get your freak on. Dress as crazy as you like, dance as much as you want, and love as much as you want. With the location moved from Queen of Hoxton to the much more appropriate Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, FREAK is now a well-established successful event, celebrating the sounds of world, music, and disco. Since this is no ordinary night I didn’t just want to take any ordinary photos so I used an app that I have had for forever, Retro VHS, to shoot all of the images. I felt that this would really tap into the era that the night transports you to and I love that it glitches out and produces static like on an old TV as well as the time stamp. The time stamp gives a little nod to the Alexander Wang Spring/Summer 2017 ad campaign featuring Zoë Kravitz on a night out, as this is an element that I really felt elevated the campaign giving the campaign fluidity, thus creating amazing transitions. With my work, the time stamp takes you back to 1986 instead of 2017, which makes the transportation element that much more real, in the sense that the audience might be forced to ask themselves if these were actually taken back then, thus giving the shoot great depth. And not to mention they’re fun and celebrate EVERYONE, thus embodying that of diversity!

 

The heart on the stage is something that is present on both floors of Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club and is a staple piece of their decoration as a venue. With this being a gay club, the idea of unity, diversity, and acceptance was already instilled in all the people in attendance at this event which made it that much more fun! A heart symbolises love, celebration and happiness which is exactly what this event embodied and it was just filled with pure joy, making it a bright light in a very f***ed up world. The second shot is one of my favourites. I love how it glitches out across their faces, obscuring the audience’s view slightly, of what they look like. The monochromatic element in a colour image is something that I have always loved and loved to experiment with and I really love the opposite tones present in this shot. I think it really works to grab the attention of the audience.

 

I am in love with the effect this app has had on all of my images and think it works so well for the subject given that it is a disco, funk club night! Another element that comes with the app’s effect is the bleeding into the background and the blast of electric colour that accompanies it, thus making it that much more striking but in such a subtle way. I took this photograph from outside the booth where people were ‘OTD’ (On The Door) and this glass acts as an incredibly interesting layer that distorts the details of the people featured in the shot. This I love as I feel that in today’s society people judge others so easily and that judgement is usually on physical appearance so I thought it would be interesting to experiment with different ways of distorting the subject’s views a little bit, thus bringing great depth and drama to the pieces. The immense bright white light in the second image comes from a silver disco ball that was hung in the centre of the dancefloor. This, for me, symbolises a bright future and optimism and hope – however ironic and unattainable this may seem at this point given everything that’s happening right now that is putting human rights and progress in serious regression.

 

The aesthetic of this night is very pretty, very fun, very funky and this is mirrored in this shoot particularly through the lighting and the grit that comes with the app I used. Mixing funk and grunge is something that embodies this night as it is reminiscent of another time. FREAK is a place where people can let their hair down completely free of judgement, selfies and all! Money. Money is one of the main thing that divides us. Status. The class system is determined by how much money we make. This image, featuring my friend Amiya as the subject, holding up the money box, indicates that we had made a lot of money selling tickets OTD. Being that this is a student run night, it’s great for them as they make money to put towards their rent or their bills or food for the weak, or even to treat themselves and have fun in the process.  But how far will this go for them? University debt is crippling and it’s only increasing. University is a place where people from all works of life, from all around the world can come together and connect to make communities but this is becoming strained with all of the ways the government are limiting our freedom!

 

The floor photographs were great and conveyed the fun vibe and lively, electric energy of the night so well! The combination of dark silhouettes and the bright pink and gold lights work to create an interesting juxtaposition that works to draw the viewer in. Again, here the bleeds on the edge of the main image add that extra element of captivity for the audience. The blurry element of these photographs introduces a hypnotic aesthetic. The metallic silver wings on my sister’s dress in the second shot combined with the mesh top work to showcase individuality within the event and how personality and characteristics and even characters themselves are encouraged, embraced and celebrated. London is packed with diversity and I have never been to a night that is more diverse and I loved it! Being surrounded by so many different people really allowed me to really let go and just be myself. Feeling like you’re in a supportive environment allows the true you to just seep out of your subconscious and into the real world – and that’s when true happiness ensues and I was thrilled to be able to capture it.

The love heart takes centre stage both figuratively and literally in this shot within the framing of the image that hypnotic element it introduces. This action shot captures the fun, lively, enchanting vibe that filled the night, injecting a powerful sense of freaky energy from the get-go! Once again, the juxtaposition between the bright blast of colour shining through the dancing bodies is so incredibly captivating and brings great intensity and depth the image. The second shot showcases the smoking area. Often on nights out, smokers is the place to go for three reasons: 1) to smoke. 2) to have a quieter place to chat to people. 3) to cool off from dancing too much. For me it was all of the aforementioned reasons. The calm, chill energy that surrounds this shot is very infectious and translates directly to the viewer, as it relaxes me when I look at it. An element of mischievousness and cheekiness is also present, introduced by my friend Finn in the forefront of the image (although the print out made the image much darker so it is unfortunately not visible. This image is much brighter digitally and can be seen with much better clarity on my blog). This shoot was solely made up of candid photographs and I think that’s the best way to capture the different stages of a night out, especially with the night being so diverse and so big that the crowd was giving me everything I needed without needing to ask so why create a fake scene of people having fun when you can capture it organically? The authenticity radiates through these images to make for a very powerful collection of photographs.

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Origami

    

  

 

 

     

Origami from ori meaning ‘folding’, and kami meaning ‘paper’ is the art of paper folding, often associated with Japanese culture. The small number of basic folds and be combined to create the most intricate designs. Orgiami has always been a practice that I would love to really get into as I feel that its a skill that is so interesting. I think that the fact that paper manipulation can be done at such a high level, and in such an intricate way, to make essentially anything is just mind-blowing. The fortune teller also is a very nostalgic object for me as it takes me back to a place of childhood that’s always interesting to look back on and maybe tap into.

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Stuart McLachlan

He is an illustrator and paper stylist based in Australia who uses paper to produce images and art objects. His worked strives to achieve alternative expression through paper couture. He has been commission by companies like Vogue, Singapore Airlines, and Marie Claire.

 

I love the different colours McLachlan uses in his work and the tonal story they go through, making incredibly striking pieces that are very engaging. I love the book cutout piece as I think that is just a really clever idea and love that it’s a piece made out of paper using a book that’s still intact and includes an image of a man reading a book cut-out – it’s completely ingenious.

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Saskia & Stefan Deiez

Papier

The Diez pair proved that paper can be a durable material when they made their tough, lightweight, and water-resistant travel bags. The Papier series experimented with the travel bag by using Tyvek, which is an extremely lightweight, tear-proof and completely recyclable synthetic paper. It won the German Designpreis 2010.

I am in love with these bags and am absolutely flummoxed at the fact that not only are they made of paper but they’re WATER RESISTANT! This is such an amazing discovery for me and I am loving the realisation that paper is exceeded so many expectations in terms of use and longevity in products.