in appropriate images
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[In]appropriate, is a photographic exhibition in which women photographers take aim at societal and cultural norms in South Africa - exposing social structures whose framework impose unrealistic restraints on how women engage and experience the world.
Examining how women are expected to modify and control their attitudes and behaviours to suit the patriarchal scripts that police their bodies, in a society which teaches its daughters to accept misogyny as normal
Confronting the commodification of women’s bodies as seen through the male gaze, and the pressure to be alluring. By breaking with convention in comportment, finding roomfor reflection, this exhibition offers context, which is defined by the contributors and how they communicate their experience of the society in which they live. Shining a hard lighton urgent realities and in some instances, their own complicity and self-betrayal – counting the cost of being the women that their environments necessitate, where conditions require that the essential self is ignored.
Some, challenge the idea of photography offering only an actual recorded moment in time, and instead, use the medium to express an inner world, a response to what occurs reframed, and in some instances, recalled, through older images, exhuming the past, counteracting the obscurity of what went before - in our not so distant history.
In light of the escalated incidents of violence against women in 2017, [in]appropriate, provides a visual jolt, by interrogating normative conventions leading to toxic masculinity and the entrenchment of attitudes of what is considered acceptable and safe behaviour for women.
Questioning the sub-text too often in the media, where the onus is on women to avoidsituations that will endanger them. The idea that women should be acting differently to avoid being abused sexually and physically, by upholding patriarchal mandates, such as wearing what is deemed to be ‘lady-like clothing’– not being intoxicated, not exploring and expressing their sexuality, not being open about same gender love. Exposing how these insinuations shifts the responsibility away from men. Considering that 75% of all crimes committed in recent times in South Africa, were crimes committed against women – it is clear that the existence of all women in this country is moulded in varying degrees, by a psychological violence, which is constant and widely prevalent.
Holding up a multi-dimensional mirror, [In]appropriate peers at the cost of living in a fragmented society, whose mindset perpetuates violence, and is failing to address the brutality and conflict residing within.