Shattered Glass - PhMuseum

Shattered Glass

Katerina Christina

2019 - Ongoing

London, England, United Kingdom; Oaxaca, Mexico; Fairfield, California, United States; Hayward, California, United States; Oakland, California, United States; Patterson, California, United States

[Overview]

Women around the world are shattering barriers and expectations in male-dominated fields. ‘Shattered Glass’ tells the stories of these women, giving fellow females the role models, exposure, and resources they need to break into these fields, all while unapologetically embracing their femininity.

Along with every woman’s story on Katerina's website is a ‘Question & Answer’ with her, as well as a ‘Resources’ section where women can find online communities of other women in these industries, inspiration for their work, and information on how to pursue a career in each field.

[Background]

The inspiration for this project is a long time in the making--during Katerina’s time as a mechanical engineer she heard her fair share of “you don’t look like an engineer,” and “why do you keep wearing booties in the machine shop?” Now, as a photographer, her camera is her voice to respond to those questions--to say that women are not confined to society’s traditional expectations.

Backing up to her pre-college years, the thought of being an engineer never crossed her mind for the simple reason that she was never exposed to women in these roles. Lack of exposure is a wide-spread issue, and one of the main reasons women don’t enter into male-dominated industries. Katerina wants to make sure the next generation--and even women well into their careers--are aware that these roles exist and are out there waiting for them. Furthermore, research points to the lack of role models and mentorship as the two other main barriers to entry. Utilizing these women and their stories as role models, photo essays as visual exposure, and links to communities, job boards, and mentorship opportunities as resources, ‘Shattered Glass’ is a holistic approach to fostering empowerment, inspiration, and action.

[Future]

Most broadly, Katerina envisions a future in which a woman working in any industry around the world evokes a sense of pride, support, and inspiration, rather than questioning her career choice. Her vision for ‘Shattered Glass’ is to create a place where women go for inspiration and resources. Of utmost importance to her is that any woman around the world of any ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, origin, upbringing, etc. can see herself in the women featured in these stories. As the project grows and reaches more women around the world, Katerina plans to host meet-ups in different locations around the world, structured for these women leaders to learn from each other. Furthermore, Katerina's goal is to make this a project of permanence--to publish a substantial number of these stories in a book, further demonstrating that women in these roles are here to stay.

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  • Sharran, sumo wrestler. [London, England]

  • As the only female sumo wrestler in the UK, both Sharran's toughest opponent and her biggest advocate are herself. Sharran's training consists of general cardio work at her local sports club, and her only sumo-specific practice takes place at international competitions. An unbelievable amount of tenacity goes into Sharran's training given the obstacles she faces. She partly credits this drive with learning to be comfortable in her own skin--sumo wrestling gave her the place to do so.

  • The mawashi (belt) requires another person to assist in its placement before every practice. A seemingly simple requirement in sumo wrestling, but an added struggle of training alone.

  • Sharran leaves with her sumo gear packed up and her beloved dog in hand. She prides herself in her dresses and feminine style--she finds that after the initial surprise of the dichotomy between her sumo gear and her wardrobe, she has become an inspiration for many women of her size to embrace their bodies.

  • Lily, Air Force pilot. [Travis Air Force Base, CA, USA]

  • Part of a rigorous, pre-flight inspection that Lily conducts every time she flies.

  • Lily converses with members of her squadron at the mission planning center.

  • Liisa, welder and teacher. [Hayward, CA, USA]

  • From fine-art sculptor to welder, Liisa has finally found her passion in teaching.

  • Ladylike AF, Liisa prides herself in retaining her identity as a woman and a mother.

  • Celeste, blacksmith. [Oakland, CA]

  • Celeste works on a custom handrail for a Napa Valley winery, using a myriad of tools in her workshop.

  • A blacksmith at work.

  • What most outsiders to blacksmithing don't realize is that the job is overwhelmingly centered around art and design. That may be a hand rail like Celeste's current project, a fine-art object, or some both practical and beautiful.

  • Dee, long-haul truck driver. [Patterson, CA]

  • "This is a very typical scene for us women truck drivers." Just because they're on the road doesn't mean their femininity gets left behind.

  • Dee's other morning routine--checking every part of her truck.

  • Gabriela, chef. [Oaxaca City, Mexico]

  • The fun part.

  • Final touches.


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