Words that once seemed to have solid essential definitions like ethnicity, nationality, race, or gender have started to dissolve into something more ambiguous, which leads to questions like ‘Will globalization lead to sameness? Or “Will it create a venue in which individuals can thrive in a chosen system?” Traditions that were once separate now collide in unprecedented manners, forcing us to confront the plurality of social constructions that make up who we are. The question “who are we?” now has a dynamic meaning, and no set answer, and perhaps it would be more correct to say, “who were we?” and “who will we be?” because of the quickness in transitions in our environments today, and because of the quickness we can transition from one environment to another.
Molly Radecki (JAV)
Looking cross-culturally at a group of female international photographers (all more or less in the same age group) can reveal a lot about the globe at the present. Their intimate understanding of themselves can expose, both the complex difference and similarities of women’s lives internationally. For instance, each culture carries it own baggage: myths, hypocrisy, irony, and paradoxes: (an American belongs to a category that both represent Condoleezza Rice and Elvis Presley, just as a Czech belongs to a culture that embraces both Svejk and Masaryk-like attitude).
Each woman in this exhibition has a unique set of cultural influences that contributes to her understanding of her self. The values and customs of the cultures she is raised with in is what created the foundation for her initial understanding of the world.
By crossing cultural boundaries either through travel and living abroad each woman is faced with new social norms and values, which in part highlight her own individuality and the constructions of her cultures that she carries with her.
While the values, customs, and rituals vary across cultures what links these women lives together is that they all have been confronted with ideas of traditional gender roles and must respond somehow. A woman must decide which characteristics of her culture’s idea of traditional gender suit her, which characteristics she will adhere too, which she will react to and which she will ignore.
The structures of our cultures have proved to be in a constant state of flux, but at the same time we are all in some way still caught with in these structural confines. How we react, confront or accept these boundaries is what defines us.
This is how we shape our identity.
This is how we control our identity.
This is how we own our identity.
In each work, each woman carries with her the mark of her culture as well as the mark of her owns self, and how she chooses to shape the multiple influences in her life, is how she creates herself.
Dorotėja Bylica (Lenkija)