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New all-women exhibition shows women facing the camera, themselves and the world


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no ordinary women

Reviewing how our society relates to women is critical to ending the unacceptable abuse of women in South Africa.

In this exhibition of all women photography we propose a counterpoint to the colonialist-patriarchy and Apartheid model of how women have been and continue to be misrepresented.  As we have articulated women in images, so we have come to perceive them. 

The phrasing utilized by the medium of photography in advertising and in the media reduces women to mere symbols. This results in an over simplified vision of feminine consciousness – where women are striped of the poetry and the power of their gender.  It is these distortions that create a climate where women cannot be truly known. 

Informed by incessant visual constructs that disrespect and devalue women, we are developing a graphic-idiom imbued with hollowness and deception.  What sparkles is an illusion, signals bent on convincing us of our irregularities - a setting of standards that even the person in the image cannot live up to. 

In the banal retouched image, we are producing a culture of living in opposition to the self, a backdrop for a constant internalised and often unrecognized battle.  

Bereft of half of its true-self, and in consequence its humanity, society is at risk of becoming casually indifferent to reality, while carrying within an accumulation of fears, inflated by the disrespectful etymology of special effects.  The burden of truth becoming ever more unbearable.  

no ordinary women, sets off visual truth-rockets, by offering alternatives to the incessant and dissimilar depictions of women as viewed through photographic history and in current practice.

Imbued with nuance, the works on this show highlight the treachery of a culture where the viewer is required to separate from reality - where women must forgo their power and their real identity.   

Questioning where photography becomes a mechanism in blinding us as a nation to the violence and out-right cruelty that exists against women. Fathoming internalised narratives that lead us to become a country that not only tolerates violence against women, but also, through its inaction - actively condones it. 

Proposing an opportunity for exploring scenarios for healing and discussion, these reflections require that we look at life in a fuller way – inviting a broader understanding of how photographic images shape our attitudes, and the way we value each other.

We cannot claim the world as a real place if we are not awake to the consciousness of women. With photographic language taking a central place in our culture, it is imperative to commit to an authentic visual language, one which ceases to play the oppressor of the real, one which ceases to hate what is natural and true.