archival inkjet print
22 x 17 in.
In response to the long history of silencing of women and girls, I make portraits of women screaming. Through this project, I provide women space where they can practice speaking up and out for themselves. I also provide a space for them to be heard, supported, encouraged and celebrated.
I began this project on the night of the Women’s March 2018, and since then have photographed over 200 women.
I invite groups of women who don’t know one another to my studio for a gathering, effectively expanding our community while providing support for one another as we bravely let out feelings that have been silenced or dismissed in our culture. During each session, I explain that our voices can save us and share self-defense strategies along with the ways in which my voice has saved me. In each scream session, as I call them, many participants share their experiences as well. The sessions are therapeutic, powerful, and fun.
It’s important to me that the project represents a diverse group of women. I do this, not only, to give voice to as many women as possible but also to ensure that when a woman views the project she can see someone like her in it. Likewise, when a man views it they can see their mothers, daughters, sisters, nieces, etc. I hope the work empowers women who take part in it as well as those who view it, while encouraging empathy and understanding in all those who see it.
Finally, when seen together these intimate representations of our individual power and expression become a monumental act of collective resistance.
© Whitney Bradshaw