The 2014 theme of the Young Photographers Alliance Mentoring Program, founded in 2009 to empower the next generation of photographers, was 'Boundaries':
"When the program’s theme was announced, it was congruent with a time when there was prevalent, open online discussion about what it meant to be a woman in a man’s world. Being able to read about the experiences of other women, and in turn share experiences with my female friends, made me feel connected, supported, and especially inspired to create work that interpreted this conversation in my own way. I was particularly determined to express the idea that oppression of women does not just occur in extreme isolated incidents (violent rape and physical abuse) but can also be felt in lesser forms during the day to day."
"In this series you will see one woman, an average young professional, depicted in routine daily situations. The concept of male entitlement is represented by male arms and hands performing a variety of actions that are overwhelming intrusive on her body and her life. In each situation she maintains a blank expression, a visual choice that demonstrates how conditioned we as women have become to accept this atmosphere as excusable and even normal. A slightly hyper-real post processing style was implemented to emphasize that these actions, whether large or small, all perpetuate the idea that “woman” does not mean the same thing as 'human'.” (via)
"Coming up on a year since brainstorming began for the Boundaries project, it feels like time to reflect on what we created and the reaction it has inspired.
Having a personal project go internet “viral” is a bit of a double-edged sword. It’s really an incredible feeling to have so many people see something in your work and want to share it. It’s even more incredible when complete strangers approach you with their personal accounts on ways they can relate to what you’ve done. I’ve heard deeply touching stories (no really- I’ve cried, a bunch) about others’ battles with sexism and been inspired by the ways they’ve overcome those circumstances, many of which involve awesome creative work of their own. I’ve had people tell me how shocked they were when they saw the photos, which may not seem like a positive thing, but I’m glad I created something that made them think. There is a negative side to “viral” as well; your quotes can be cherry-picked and misinformation is spread, and you are left wide open to thousands of uninformed opinions." Allaire Bartel (via)
photographs by Allaire Bartel via and via and via and via and via