Jin, Jiyan, Azadi: Women, Life, Freedom
Jin, Jiyan, Azadi: Women, Life, Freedom is a long term interdisciplinary project which documents the women’s liberation movement in Rojava (Northern Syria), whilst looking at the notions of freedom and identity in terms of gender and geopolitcs.
The patriarchy and nation state is ultimately about control - control that keeps oppression and inequality in place. How can women think against such a political landscape and how an alternative language might shape how politics is done in Middle East?
Who is legitimate and who is not?
Who is a freedom fighter?
Who is a terrorist?
Who controls the women’s bodies and with what political intent?
Can a state be a terrorist?
School of Communication
MA Visual Communication, 2017
So far, visual experience has been my most cherished education; it had empowered and prompted me to engage and connect with the world on a personal level in incredible ways, especially when separated by cultural barriers. From documenting close friends to strangers, from the Amish to the LGBTQ community, from fashion supermodels to women prisoners, in my visual world there no longer are boundaries or barriers of race, culture, religion, fashion, nor location. It makes space for the viewer to identify with a figure, with social issues, with an atmosphere, with a quirky smile. My feelings for my subjects remain complex and I appreciate the actions necessary to create an authentic bond for their portrayal.
I became interested in socio-political aspects and cultural identities from a very young age and started to focus on it consciously through my practice since moving to London. I remember always being struck by attitudes to, and connotations about different cultures, particularly regarding women, as I became more exposed to it as a foreigner. I noticed how different it was to the realities that I knew and had experienced as a woman myself. My country and cultural identity was being perceived in a specific way that blocked out the whole picture and just presented a fraction of it. Therefore, I started exploring my roots and cultural background through personal projects related to the country I come from.
I further studied different social, political and cultural realities of other countries to find out how women stood out, historically and socially, and how they are shaping an alternative vision of womanhood as well as influencing change. Women still face huge issues in terms of rights and equality, depending on where they are situated geographically. No matter who we are, where we are from, or our circumstances in life, we all want to be exploring our options, futures, surroundings, sexuality and ideologies through a personal filter. The point of difference is, and this is what I find so fascinating, is what the women around the world have to endure and risk in order to live in a society that recognizes their rights. And I believe there is where my visual work should be.
- BA Fashion Photography, London College of Fashion (University of the Arts London), 2014