Update
This work forms part of a series that were shot by some of Australia’s leading photographers for a wonderful project call ‘As You Dreamt It’. The brainchild of ad agency BMF, the project engages with newly-arrived immigrants from a variety of countries who now reside at the Woodville housing complex, Sydney. The images have been printed very large and are currently hanging on the outside walls of the Woodville housing complex.
Here’s BMF’s description of the project:
A year ago we held an exhibition called As You Dreamt It. An idea that partnered people and their recurring dreams together with photographers, to recreate their dreams exactly as they were dreamt. Same people, same places and same scenarios – all re-created and then photographed by some of Australia’s best photographers. You can see the project here - www.asyoudreamt.it While this was a great arts project, we were most inspired by what the project did for people. Our dreams are windows into our lives, stories and emotions. Sharing them allows us to share intimate pieces of ourselves.
But they also allow us to all connect over the common human themes that our dreams represent. So in light of this, we searched for an even more ambitious way to realize this projects full human potential.

And here is more on the ‘dreamer’ I was partnered with:
Manooche
Nationality:
Iranian
His story:
Manooche is the husband of Monireh, another dreamer in the project. Both from Iran, they met in Australia after fleeing from Iran separately to escape religious persecution for their Bahai faith. The Bahai religion has been outlawed and heavily persecuted in Iran throughout the C20th with oppressive laws and attacks increasing since the downfall of the Shah over 30 years ago. Bahai is seen by the current Iranian government as more a political movement than a religion and the Bahai followers as deserters or apostates from Islam. Monireh and Manooche describe their life in Iran as having been untenable – as their civil liberties were drastically curtailed. Bahai were restricted from benefiting from any government run services - they were unable to secure an education, attend university nor work in any government departments or operations. Any form of spiritual expression was subverted and pushed underground and although its practice continued it was done so secretly and at immense risk. Manooche recounts experiences of persecution since the age of 17. His father was a well-known and highly respected Bahai leader so he & his family were blacklisted by authorities and continually targeted. This culminated in the burning down of the family home when Manooche was just 17 years of age. Manooche describes his life as having been cut down from that day and that he has not been able to recover and rebuild anything substantial since. He still experiences and receives treatment for his psychological torment but does not regret his choices. He is proud that he had the courage, despite the odds and personal sacrifices to stand up for his convictions. Both he and Monireh feel blessed to have met and to have been given a second chance living here in Australia. They are most grateful for the peace, safety and security they feel here. They have a young daughter together.
His dream:
His dream that made a big impact on him, is of him meeting his late father in a beautiful cherry field. Together they walk along and grab cherries together and talk. Cherry fields carry a lot of significance in Iranian culture – representing peace and happiness. His father was a great source of inspiration in his life for what he stood for and stood by. This dream of them together in a cherry field, was for him a feeling of total contentment in life.

Update

This work forms part of a series that were shot by some of Australia’s leading photographers for a wonderful project call ‘As You Dreamt It’. The brainchild of ad agency BMF, the project engages with newly-arrived immigrants from a variety of countries who now reside at the Woodville housing complex, Sydney. The images have been printed very large and are currently hanging on the outside walls of the Woodville housing complex.

Here’s BMF’s description of the project:

A year ago we held an exhibition called As You Dreamt It. An idea that partnered people and their recurring dreams together with photographers, to recreate their dreams exactly as they were dreamt. Same people, same places and same scenarios – all re-created and then photographed by some of Australia’s best photographers. You can see the project here - www.asyoudreamt.it While this was a great arts project, we were most inspired by what the project did for people. Our dreams are windows into our lives, stories and emotions. Sharing them allows us to share intimate pieces of ourselves.

But they also allow us to all connect over the common human themes that our dreams represent. So in light of this, we searched for an even more ambitious way to realize this projects full human potential.

And here is more on the ‘dreamer’ I was partnered with:

Manooche

Nationality:

Iranian

His story:

Manooche is the husband of Monireh, another dreamer in the project. Both from Iran, they met in Australia after fleeing from Iran separately to escape religious persecution for their Bahai faith. The Bahai religion has been outlawed and heavily persecuted in Iran throughout the C20th with oppressive laws and attacks increasing since the downfall of the Shah over 30 years ago. Bahai is seen by the current Iranian government as more a political movement than a religion and the Bahai followers as deserters or apostates from Islam. Monireh and Manooche describe their life in Iran as having been untenable – as their civil liberties were drastically curtailed. Bahai were restricted from benefiting from any government run services - they were unable to secure an education, attend university nor work in any government departments or operations. Any form of spiritual expression was subverted and pushed underground and although its practice continued it was done so secretly and at immense risk. Manooche recounts experiences of persecution since the age of 17. His father was a well-known and highly respected Bahai leader so he & his family were blacklisted by authorities and continually targeted. This culminated in the burning down of the family home when Manooche was just 17 years of age. Manooche describes his life as having been cut down from that day and that he has not been able to recover and rebuild anything substantial since. He still experiences and receives treatment for his psychological torment but does not regret his choices. He is proud that he had the courage, despite the odds and personal sacrifices to stand up for his convictions. Both he and Monireh feel blessed to have met and to have been given a second chance living here in Australia. They are most grateful for the peace, safety and security they feel here. They have a young daughter together.

His dream:

His dream that made a big impact on him, is of him meeting his late father in a beautiful cherry field. Together they walk along and grab cherries together and talk. Cherry fields carry a lot of significance in Iranian culture – representing peace and happiness. His father was a great source of inspiration in his life for what he stood for and stood by. This dream of them together in a cherry field, was for him a feeling of total contentment in life.

Masters of Intimate Portraiture

Musings

Wonderful article in American Photo on the intimate relationship that exists between the photographer and the subject. 

http://www.americanphotomag.com/photo-gallery/2014/01/intimate-portraits?cmpid=enews013114&spPodID=020&spMailingID=6073836&spUserID=NDA4NjEzODIzNDUS1&spJobID=363420058&spReportId=MzYzNDIwMDU4S0

Photo by Elinor Carucciimage

Best of - 2013

A snapshot of the year that was for me…

amandapalmer:

very NSFW. this is the the cover of “honi soit”, a student magazine at sydney university featuring 18 different vulvas of students on campus. law students at the university threw the book at the magazine and forced then to censor the cover, which was deemed…not censored enough.

honi soit and the owners of the vulvas posted this on their facebook:

Eighteen vulvas. All belong to women of Sydney Uni. Why are they on the cover of Honi Soit?

We are tired of society giving us a myriad of things to feel about our own bodies. We are tired of having to attach anxiety to our vaginas. We are tired of vaginas being either artificially sexualised (see: porn) or stigmatised (see: censorship and airbrushing). We are tired of being pressured to be sexual, and then being shamed for being sexual.

The vaginas on the cover are not sexual. We are not always sexual. The vagina should and can be depicted in a non-sexual way – it’s just another body part. “Look at your hand, then look at your vagina,” said one participant in the project. “Can we really be so naïve to believe our vaginas the dirtiest, sexiest parts of our body?”

We refuse to manipulate our bodies to conform to your expectations of beauty. How often do you see an ungroomed vulva in an advertisement, a sex scene, or in a porno? Depictions of female genitalia in culture provide unrealistic images that most women are unable to live up to. “Beautiful vaginas are depicted as soft, hairless, and white.

The reality is that my vagina is dark and hairy, and when it isn’t it is pinkish and prickly,” said one of the participants in the project. We believe that the fact that more than 1200 Australian women a year get labiaplasty is a symptom of a serious problem. How can society both refuse to look at our body part, call it offensive, and then demand it look a certain way?

As one participant put it: “When it comes down to it, my vagina is just another part of my body, which can be viewed in a number of different ways, but the majority of the time is completely neutral, just like my mouth or my hands. It is not something to be ashamed of; it is not my dirty secret.”

Just before we went to print, we were told that our cover was illegal, possibly criminal. But why? According to the SRC’s legal advice, this publication might be “obscene” or “indecent”, likely to cause offence to a “reasonable adult”. But what is offensive or obscene about a body part that over half of the Australian population have? Why can’t we talk about it – why can’t we see it? Why is that penises are scrawled in graffiti all around the world, but we can’t bear to look at vaginas?

… Here they are, flaps and all. Don’t you dare tell me my body offends you.

………………………

read an entire (great) article about it HERE, in mamamia, who have further smart and brave things to say about the matter…and thanks @dragonsally for sending me the link.

raise a glass to these women. 

as pointed out above, 1200 women get labiaplasty surgery in australia every year…many thousands more worldwide, i’m sure, mostly to nip and tuck their labia to look “pretty” and “normal”…ie “porn vadge”.

speaking as a vulva-owner with a labia the size of rhode island, i think it’s very nice to see vulvas portrayed in their natural states.

since porn images generally depict such a skewed view, where else are women going to see reality, if not…on tumblr?