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Dance 4 Dunkirk

On March 9, I attended the charity event club night ‘Beat It On The Bush’ held at infamous London location, Dalston Superstore, put on by the charity ‘Dance 4 Dunkirk’ to raise money for the Dunkirk women’s shelter for refugees that burned down a few months ago. This was a very special night for me, as not only did I design and create some of the promotional aspects of the night such as the flyers, the Snapchat filter as well as a GIF, but this charity was co-founded by my sister Beth. It meant so much to me to go and support her and this cause as it is such a potent issue in today’s society and I fully commend her on her further efforts to effect change, as she also went over to volunteer in Dunkirk at a refugee camp which is what sparked her to get more involved. As I have showcased in previous briefs, club nights are not a foreign thing for my sister as she also co-runs a monthly club night in London, ‘FREAK’ that made its debut at Queen of Hoxton where it ran for three nights before switching to its current location, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, which I am also a part of with regards to the promotional elements. It was so much fun to capture people in this environment because it was very much free, loving, and liberating, and also very diverse, with an overwhelming number of people turning up to show their support to give the charity an amazing end figure to give to the women’s centre. Analogue photography offers an interesting on perspective that I always love to use when going to events like this because you never know how the photographs are going to turn out, but there is always, without fail, an undeniable realness to each and every shot being that they’re mostly candid shots.

 

 

This first shot is definitely one of my favourites from the whole shoot. Radiating fun, love, and friendship this photograph of two friends enjoying the night together is just so genuine and I love how using the flash has put those two elements in focus and very much the focal point of the image, bringing them very much to the forefront of the shot. This provides the viewer great clarity, making the background something almost monochromatic, thus presenting such an interesting juxtaposition that is so captivating to the audience. This next photograph displays the phenomenal host of the night, who came in drag, collecting raffle tickets from everyone donated extra money to the cause to be entered into a raffle to win some truly amazing prizes such as a Patagonia backpack and a free Airbnb stay for somewhere in the UK. He was absolutely incredible and he appears in quite a few of my photos as I found her so interesting to shoot because he didn’t need to know that he was being photographed to connect with the camera – the camera just loved him – and his facial features are absolutely stunning!

 

 

One my jobs on the night, along with working on the door and collecting the money for raffle tickets, was to make sure that all the DJs that were performing had everything they needed and that they were happy. It is when I was checking on one the DJs playing downstairs that I snapped a shot of her doing her set and her stuff was very high energy and lively getting people in such an amazing move to just dance and be carefree. So, when I look at this shot it takes me back to that particular part of that night and how I was feeling a great sense of pride for what my sister had created here and how everyone involved came together to make an unforgettable event for a great cause. The composition of this image is very strong as it head-on showcases the DJ in her element, where she feels most comfortable which is communicated in the best way as it’s not over the top, but subtle, thus bringing a relaxing element to the shot when what lied in the unseen shoot when I turned the camera around can be seen displayed in this second shot. I love the perspective of this shots as it was taken completely blindly with the camera held above my head angled down into the crowd, creating this great kind of aerial shot that captured everyone just having the best time. This image evokes the pure joy that comes with dance and the amazingly light yet powerful energy that accompanied this night.

 

 

These two final shots have to be the best at capturing the true essence of the night. Everyone who showed up just acme with the best attitude and was 100% ready to have the best time. Nothing feels better than when you’re having fun and helping people in the process – this is why I think this night was so successful. This first shot works effortlessly to capture the personality of two high energy live wires and I love everything about this image from the gun shot sign aimed straight at the lens in the very centre of the shot to the truly amazing outfit that guy is wearing to the left of them – working that double denim!  This last photograph exudes pure power and realness as the subject just has that ‘boss bitch’ air about her. I adored that it was hosted by a drag queen. By her bringing that persona to event elevated the energy even more with her amazing sass and charisma – and she didn’t always appear this poised, as two hours later she was dancing on the bar making everyone, including me, live for her. The combination of colours present works perfectly in mirroring the, obviously strong, main party element being served in this shoot and I love how even though there are so many colours here, that bright pink overcoat steals your attention instantly, thus drawing all your attention to her again! I love how she just commanded the cameras attention, thus demanding the attention of the audience without hesitation – there’s no choice it’s simply fact. Even though she doesn’t sit at the centre of the shot like most hero-ine shots, she definitely owns it!

 

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Influential Women & My Final Piece Idea

My idea for my final piece is to create a paper book and utilise laser cutting to read out different symbols related to gender and inspirational quotes from various inspirational women- all to promote intersectional feminism.

With symbols such as trans, femme, non-binary, and androgyne being used, I think that this book will work to educate people in LGBTQ and gender.

Image result for gender symbols

Inspirational Quotes

Audre Lorde was a writer, feminist, womanist, and civil rights activist. As a poet she is known for her profound emotional expression and her anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed. Her work focused on civil rights, feminism, and the exploration of black female identity.

“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”

“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

 

Kimberle Williams Crenshaw is an American civil rights advocate and a professor at the UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School. As a professor, she specialises in race and gender issues. She is known for the introduction and development of intersectional theory. Intersectionality is a methodology of studying “the relationships among multiple dimensions and modalities of social relationships and subject formations” (McCall 2005).

“If we aren’t intersectional, some of us, the most vulnerable, are going to fall through the cracks.”

“When feminism does not explicitly oppose racism, and when antiracism does not incorporate opposition to particularly, race and gender, politics often end up being antagonistic to each other and both interests lose.”

 

Zooey Descahnel is an American actress and singer-songwriter.

“I’m just being myself… We can’t be feminine and be feminists and be successful? I want to be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking Peter Pan collar. So fucking what?”

 

RuPaul is an American drag queen, actor, television personality and recording artist. RuPaul has hosted and produced the show RuPaul’s Drag Race since 2009, for which he won an Emmy for in 2016.

“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna somebody else? Can I get an amen in here?”

 

All of these people have different platforms and forms of how they express their feminism and their goals to achieve equality and unity, but what they share is their powerful message to their audience.

 

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Further Experimentation & Progression to Final Outcome

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take any photographs or me making the paper, but I took photos of them all drying. This is the batch of papers I made to further experiment with thickness, texture, impressions, and the adding other materials. This proved very helpful in terms of improving my confidence and also in making me start to think about refining my final piece idea.

 

      

With that in mind, these are the two batches of paper I have made in preparation for my final piece for this project. One batch is the original white colour with the other group being a beautiful pinky purple colour. I chose this colour because it linked incredibly well with the feminist movement and when I look at my posting on colour symbolism it speaks very well to the audience, in terms of what I am trying to communicate to them regarding feminism. Unity, equality, strength.

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Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot is a feminist protest punk rock group based in Moscow, Russia. Calling for equality (basic human rights) in the most amazing way – they stand to fight for women in a world where they are still oppressed by men. In a country where freedom in some forms including homosexuality are forbidden and criminalised, Pussy Riot stand as a force to be reckoned with but a force than transcends a single country – they work to spread their message globally and with spunk too. An incredibly powerful voice in today’s society, their stunts are big, ballsy, and come out with a bang and I would expect nothing less from the all powerful group. When you stand to make a difference, make a change for something that shouldn’t need to be fought for you have to make noise, a lot of noise, or your voice will never be heard. Looking into feminism is something that I feel is so relevant today, especially when looking at the person who assumed power of one of the largest countries in the world and what he represents to not only Americans but to the human race as a whole. I fear that without groups like these progress would come to a halt. This cannot happen for equality must be obtained for all women!

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Guerrilla Girls

Guerrilla Girls are a symbol of what a real fight for equality looks like. I saw an exhibition at the V&A that featured them and I really connected to their philosophy and how although the statements are incredibly bold, they also need to be in order to make people stop and really think. It’s not just ‘activism’ though it’s using what is actually happening in today’s society in all areas such as the entertainment industry, and the art world, and pushing real facts forward, placing them simply in front of the public asking if this is something they really agree with and think should continue. I think it’s so important that people are given the opportunity to find out this information and have complete access to it so that they can form an unbiased and solid opinion on where they stand.

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Louise Bourgeois

   

     

   

Subversion. Subversion is key in any movement. Feminism is no exception. The work of Louise Bourgeois is iconic, staple to feminism as a concept and ideal. It is so important that the work of female artists not only be acknowledged but celebrated in the art world. It has long gone unnoticed that most of art exhibitions around the world showcase art that is predominantly produced by men. In today’s society however, this is being challenged. The Tate strives to make female artists equally heard and the work of this artist is an example of that. This work is very powerful and conveys a strong message that is displayed physically in many different mediums, thus making the artist incredibly accomplished and her talent vital to anyone who wants to know more about feminism. Her work is very delicate and seemingly subtle, however the messages they convey and the feelings that they evoke are very powerful. There is great intimacy in her work that instantly relates to the viewer, drawing them in, creating a deep connection between artist and audience.

 

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Cindy Sherman

       

 

 

                   

 

                           

Cindy Sherman is an icon when it comes to feminism. Taking clichés of the ‘typical woman’ and posing for what would stereotypically acceptable for a woman is very challenging and sends a strong message to the audience. Although her work was revolutionised in the 70s, her work still poses a powerful presence today and is inspirational to many. Her work has influenced me in terms of the way I want my stance on feminism to come across. I think in today’s society people are under the false notion that there is so much more equality when it comes to male rights versus female rights as well as the actual definition of feminism and how it is must to be intersectional in order to achieve equality amongst women – ALL women.

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Liz Collins

Collins’ work ‘Veins’ has pushed me to think about the kinds of experiments I can use when making the paper as well as thinking about pattern and layout. Although I am interested in focusing on text for my work, I think that the idea of communicating a message to the audience is critical and think that is why I have been drawn to this collection by Collins in particular as it evokes such strength and depth through looking at something that lies underneath. Veins are obviously visible to the human eye on our bodies and there are ways in which they can be made more prominent and alter slightly in colour, so I was so captivated by the colours she used and the different thicknesses and textures in her materials. I think that when it comes to a concept, you have to take every focal element into consideration and that is something vital when developing any piece of work and is something that I will definitely think about going forward.

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Sami Hilal

Hilal’s work is exceptional! I love his abilities in terms of craft and how his results entail the most remarkable lines and shapes. My interest in using laser cutting with text has intensified after looking at this work as one of the many ways in which of achieving ‘the look’ I’m after have been realised. Working with materials such as copper filings, thus representing rust decay, only works to make these pieces that much more interesting and captivating. This is due to the fact that Hilal is working into this type of material so it’s putting work on top of something that is made to look worn and to have ‘lived’, in a sense, increases the work he has done in terms of value and intrigue. His work is very 3-dimensional and has great depth to it, both literally, introducing by the many layers that he includes, and metaphorically, through the way in which it makes the viewer think and interpret the message.

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Annie Vought

Although I’m probably more interested in keeping the main body of the paper and working into it with the laser cutting technique instead of taking text out of it to use on their own, Vought’s work is very captivating. I absolutely love the work displayed in the first image as the text is so intricate and think that it would be something that I would potentially be willing to experiment with myself. The colours used in the second image really make the words pop in terms of catching the audience’s attention and is again something that I would be willing to do myself but would definitely ensure that the colours had symbolic meaning in terms of what words they were communicating.