Marked (Working Title)
An animated film exploring the personal narratives of female breast-cancer survivors
Funded by the WellcomeTrust, Jordan Baseman’s project Marked (working title) is currently at the research and development stage. Marked will eventually become an experimental animated film that features the personal narratives of female breast-cancer survivors, who, after undergoing mastectomy surgery, have declined breast reconstruction and have adorned their surgery scars with tattoos, challenging the norm of breast reconstruction and perceived notions of womanhood.
Mastectomy tattoos represent direct body activism – a personalised, political statement that speaks of survival and loss, of women reclaiming their bodies from the traumas of having survived life-saving medical procedures and the physical scarring of surgical interventions. These tattoos represent a different response to societal conventions: the demands and expectations of body shape, a symmetrical female form, and additionally, these tattoos exist without reference or allegiance to any existing tattoo culture (or ever-diminishing sub-culture).
Marked asks difficult questions about womanhood in the early 21st century: What does it mean to live as a woman with a tattoo where her breasts once were? How is identity and self-image determined by physical embodiment and forms? What happens to our bodies after surgery? The project explores various complex and personally challenging questions around the boundaries of choice for medical patients, the role of symmetry in our physical and psychological understanding of ourselves and our gender, the boundaries of both physical and psychological loss – and how identity is constructed.