WOMAN GO NO'GREE - PhMuseum

WOMAN GO NO'GREE

Gloria Oyarzabal

2017 - 2019

Lagos, Nigeria; Elmina, Central, Ghana

Empires,by their very nature,embody and institutionalize difference,both between metropolis/colony and colonial subjects.Imperial imaginary floods popular culture.Gender categories were one kind of bio-logic "new tradition" that European colonialism institutionalized in Yoruba, Igbo as well as other African cultures. Infantilization of women as part of Western patriarchal system was also exported with the colonization of the mind,configuring a state of vulnerability,making the path of dependency propitious.Can we assume social relations in all societies are organized around biological sexual difference? How do new realities affect new understandings of kinship,marriage and family as a result of status,class,sexuality,geography? Erotic,sisterhood,motherhood,marriage,tradition, domestication…all this aspects,nuances,with it’s own lights and shades in each society,should come out in the same level in order to compare.Beauty circulates as a form of commodity with social,economic and cultural value.However these norms are often measured with Eurocentric values,white beauty narratives and ideals of beauty(thinnes,youth,..) being strongly racialized. Whiteness is reinforced at the same time as the norm,while "otherness" becomes fetish and something "exotic”. Decolonize feminism questioning the Eurocentric rational theoretical frameworks that construct gender categories in a universalistic manner. Stereotypes.

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  • POINTING HAND
    Dyptich: a) B&W archive photo printed as wallpaper (vinyl) 180x120 with manipulated archive photo framed (35x25) placed on top. B) Digital photo printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper 180gr, natural wood frame
    Objectualization, forced primitivism, white hand pointing inquisitively. The gaze of the "Other".One consequence of Eurocentrism is the racialization of knowledge:Europe is represented as the source of knowledge and Europeans,therefore,as thinkers.Le Bon Sauvage,the noble savage as a literary stock character who embodies the concept of the indigene, outsider, wild human.

  • PINK GIRL(ON EXOTIZATION,HIPERSEXUALATION,VICTIMIZATION AND OTHER -ZATIONS)
    a)Manipulated archive image found in a Nigerian magazine from the English colonial years.Fine antracite metal frame (70x50 cm)b)Photography printed on fabric , hung as a curtain (260 x 145 cm)
    Infantilization of women as part of Western patriarchal system was also exported with the colonization of the mind,configuring a state of vulnerability,making propitious the dependency path.It constitutes a subtle and alienating practice that,many times,those who execute it in the various intangible planes of daily life,do so in the name of morality,of values,customs proclaimed with the trick of deception.Mental submission leads to a lack of objectives,leaving the subject at the expense of other’s decisions,weakening their ability to react to injustice,corruption and abuse.

  • LA DIMENSION FÉMININE
    Printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper 180gr Natural wood frame (100x100 cm)
    Archive image/Digital photo
    Colonization of the mind:religion.Deception promotes the propitious field for individuals to be colonized by the values of others,by the tastes and preferences of others, by imposed customs and prejudices,by religions and fanatism,by family mandates,by culture and by possessions derived from a consumerism that limits the expansion of everyday life.Empires,by their very nature,embody and institutionalize difference,both between metropolis/colony and colonial subjects.Imperial imaginary,for good or bad,floods popular culture.

  • COLONIZATION OF THE MIND (BEAUTY)
    Printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper 180gr Natural wood frame (100x100 cm)
    Archive image/Digital photo
    Beauty circulates as a form of commodity with social,economic and cultural value.However,these norms are often measured with Eurocentric values,with white beauty narratives (thinness,youth and whiteness )and ideals of beauty being strongly racialized.Whiteness is reinforced at the same time as the norm,while "otherness" becomes fetish and something "exotic". Colonialism came with Victorian Christianity,with the terrible,white idea of the subjugation of women,with the concept that her place is in the kitchen and bedroom

  • COLONIZATION OF THE MIND (RED HAND)
    Hahnemühle Photo Rag 180gr Natural wood frame (100x100 cm)Digital photo /Archive image"Mythology,therefore civilization,is a poetic image conceived in depth,but capable of being interpreted at different levels.The superficial minds see in it the local scenario;the deepest,a first plane of emptiness;in the middle are all the stages of the Way from the ethnic to the elementary idea,from the local to the universal being,which is every man/women,who at the same time knows and fears to know.Because the human mind,in its passage from infancy to maturity,in its hardness and delicacy,in its continuous dialogue with the world,is the ultimate mitogenetic zone,the creator and destroyer,the slave and yet owner of all gods"Primitive Mythology,J.Campbell

  • MOTHERHOOD/STAND UP
    Dyptich printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 180gr Natural wood frame (70x50 cm each one)
    The three central concepts that have been the pillars of Western feminism -women, gender and sisterhood- are only understood with a careful attention to the patriarchal nuclear family from which they have emerged,familiar form that is far from being universal.Yoruba concept of WOMEN examine the different "head ties" that adorn the word, namely as mothers, wives, and as a spiritual entity called IYAMIS. Where is the African women identity leading to? How is it going to be their relation with men? Would they be able to recover their ancestral social hierarchy or will there be a new super retro-futuristic way to interact between both genders?

  • SORORITY
    Dyptich printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 180gr Natural wood frame (70x50 cm each one)
    Women's needs,reality, oppression and empowerment are best addressed by having an inclusive and accommodating understanding of the generic and more general issues as well as the peculiarities and group attitude to self-definition as women in everyday life.We have to take into consideration issues as class, race, age, gender, and even health, as being fundamental to the female experience. Erotic, sexuality, sisterhood, motherhood, marriage, tradition, domestication, … all this aspects, nuances, with it’s own lights and shades in each society should come out in the same level .Decolonize feminism

  • UPSIDEDOWNBLUEPINK (ON EXOTIZATION,HIPERSEXUALATION,VICTIMIZATION AND OTHER -ZATIONS)
    a)Manipulated archive image found in a Nigerian magazine from the English colonial years.Fine antracite metal frame (70x50 cm)b)Photography printed on fabric , hung as a curtain (260 x 145 cm)
    Can we assume that social relations in all societies are organized around biological sexual difference? Is the male body in African societies seen as normative and therefore a channel for the exercise of power? In many traditional African societies,the principle of double sex in social organization and language without gender connotations, facilitated the normalization of "traditionally" feminine roles among men and vice versa, without stigmatizing or punishing those who observed this behavior.

  • EMPOWERMENT
    Dyptich printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 180gr Natural wood frame (70x50 cm each one)
    Inclusivity is important if women are to gain ground in policy changes.In order to eradicate the oppression women face because of their gender,working with men on everyday life aspects has become a necessity for them.The role of men in the construction of more just societies, maternity and family life models, strategies to achieve equality and the support or absence of white feminism in the fight against African patriarchy are some of the points most widely discussed in nowadays African femisnist thought currents

  • PHANTOM RIOT UPSIDEDOWNBLUE
    a)Manipulated archive image found in a Nigerian magazine from the english colonial years.
    Printed on vinyl .Big size wallpaper (aprox 250 x 300 cm)
    b) Manipulated archive image found in a Nigerian magazine from the english colonial years.
    Fine antracite metal frame (65x90 cm)
    Formerly some Nigerian women,when they felt the duty to protest an unjust situation in their community, went out on the street bare chested, positioned in the humiliation that this gesture means and showing till what extent their desperation can reach.
    The priestesses of the Ifa practice, Iyanifá, dress up in white.
    Ghosts.

  • WHITE PRIVILEGE (ON EXOTIZATION,HIPERSEXUALATION,VICTIMIZATION AND OTHER -ZATIONS)
    a)Archive image found in a Nigerian magazine from the English colonial years.Fine antracite metal frame (70x50 cm)b)Photography printed on fabric , hung as a curtain (260 x 145 cm)
    Stereotypes,prototype,archetype,pattern,model,topic,
    cliché,exoticism,barbarism,foreignism,distance,horizon,boundary,victim,affected,harmed,aggrieved,damaged,sensual,erotic,lewd,carnal,genital,.….Maybe understanding History we will be able to overcome the social and symbolic ascription only by the difference of sex and open the range to other factors for the construction of identity.Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks about “The Danger of the Single Story”

  • MODERNITY
    Dyptich printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 180gr Natural wood frame (70x50 cm each one)
    Many racialized feminists believe that mainstream feminism has acted as another invisible ballast on their backs,showing itself traditionally paternalistic and exclusive with other realities that don’t fit Western model,adopting it as a universal mantra,setting an agenda that doesn’t correspond to the concerns of the non-white world and speaking for the rest of the women of the planet.African social networks also boil with current debates,such as that of gender roles, which is structured around women who, avoiding the label of "feminist" understood as Western, proclaim themselves successful professionals with a differentiated role inside and outside the home

  • PIM PAM PUM
    Tryptich printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 180gr Natural wood frame (70x50 cm each one)
    Title of the project is a phrase found in Fela Kuti’s controversial song “Lady”,which came out in 1972 on the Shakara LP,12 years after Nigeria's independence from the British,2 years after the end of civil war and the year that revenue from oil sales boosted Nigeria’s economy.A parallel discussion about African women becoming westernised was taking place.
    HOPES&DREAMS

  • READY STEADY GO!
    Tryptich printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 180gr Natural wood frame (70x50 cm each one)
    An everyday dreaming strategy in order to survive

  • TOUCH MY BRAIN
    Printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper 180gr Natural wood frame (100x100 cm)
    In European culture and intellectual history,participation in the polis and cultural significance is determined by the schism between ‘mind’ and ‘body’.The body is regarded as the site of irrationality,passion and moral corruption.The mind,in contrast,functions as the seat of reason and restraint.This dualism enabled the association of certain groups with the body and bodily functions,and others with reason and spirit.Those conceived as irrefutably embodied were visibly marked out for enslavement,oppression and cultural manipulation.Oyèrónkẹ Oyěwùmí, Nigerian feminist writer,attributes the biologizing of difference to the primacy of vision in European intellectual history.Privileging the visual facilitates an emphasis on appearance and visible markers of difference, basing its categories and hierarchies on visual modes and binary distinctions:male/female,white/black,homosexual/heterosexual,etc.... The physical body is therefore always linked to the social body. This is not what happens everywhere.....

  • ETHOS
    Dyptich printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 180gr Natural wood frame (70x50 cm each one)
    Male privilege as an essential part of the European ethos, is implicit in the culture of modernity. What if modernity models bring us to a new vision of "the other"?
    A quick google search with the term ‘Africa and Women’ reveals the West’s obsession with stereotypical images of African women: destitute, dependent, and uneducated. What do we know of African women besides the conditions ascribed on to them? “Our liberation and Afrocentricity contends and rests up on our ability to systematically displace European ways of thinking, being, feeling, and so forth and consciously replace them with ways that are germane to our own African cultural experience” (Mazma, 2001).

  • COLONIZATION OF THE MIND ( BODY TERRITORY)
    Printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper 180gr Natural wood frame (100x100 cm)
    To colonize means "To occupy a territory far from its borders in order to exploit it and dominate it administratively, militarily and economically”. New borders are created, and that there's also the colonization of the mind through language, manipulation of the thinking, privacy invasion,... Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe and Kenian writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, wrote a lot about it.

  • COLONIZATION OF THE MIND ( GENDER ROLES)
    Printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper 180gr Natural wood frame (100x100 cm)
    Gender categories were one kind of bio-logic "new tradition" that European colonialism institutionalized in African cultures.There is significant religious and linguistic evidence that Yoruba, Igbo AND OTHER African societies were not gendered before colonization. Social practices such as division of labor, kinship, profession and monarchical structures were not ordered according to gender difference but to lineage or age. Roles and statuses in some societies do not readily fit into simple dichotomous categories of male and female gender. Some cultures indicate more flexibility in gender classification by employing mechanisms of a neuter pronoun, gendercrossing, or gender‐bending.

  • COLONIZATION OF THE MIND ( POWER ROLES)
    Printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper 180gr Natural wood frame (100x100 cm)
    In 1987, more than a decade before the dawn of queer theory, Nigerian writer Ifi Amadiume wrote “Male Daughters, Female Husbands” were she frees the subject position of 'husband' from its affiliation with men, goes on to do the same for other masculine attributes, dislocating sex, gender and sexual orientation, and examines the structures in African society, mainly the Igbo, that enabled people to achieve power, showing that roles were neither rigidly masculinised nor feminized. Can a daughter be considered a son? And can a woman take another as a wife, openly complying with all the requirements that the marriage tradition imposes on the groom? In the pre-colonial period, sex and gender could not coincide, thus denying the supposed universality of the subordination of women.

  • DECOLONIZE FEMINISM
    Printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper 180gr Natural wood frame (100x100 cm)
    At a time when gender and queer theory are viewed by some as being stuck in an identity-politics rut, Nigerian writer Ifi Amadiume’s study “Male Daughters, Female Husbands” not only warns against the danger of projecting a very specific, Western notion of difference onto other cultures, but calls us to question the very concept of gender itself.


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