Contested Territories.

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For my option unit I chose Contested Territories. The pitch for CT excited me as it addressed issues that I am passionate about; the woman’s body as a contested territory; masculinity and sex as violence in war; memory and trauma; and migration. When it got to the lectures it became apparent that this was also a very heavily research based option with a huge amount of academic reading to be done. Although I stand by how interesting and relevant I find the option, part of me thinks I could have benefitted from one that was more hands on and proactive to balance out my own research and maybe bring a different approach or method to my methodology. As I have been feeling overwhelmed with the amount of reading this week, I have decided to make this option my own in the sense that I read some of the recommended reading but tailor it to what I am finding relevant at this very moment in time.

Gender as politics is dominating parts of the media coverage at the moment. Abortion Laws, Donald Trump being elected and what this means for women, why hasn’t America ever elected a female president, breastfeeding stigma in public places and in the workplace, women striking in Poland over abortion laws, and many more. I remember my BA tutor Anna Bhushan saying that sometimes you make an image, it might come out of nowhere or be based on something small and the content and context come later, I feel this has happened now. To sum up CT we are to hold and exhibition and I feel I have my work for it. This could obviously change, but I have a piece I made after I read about the comments made in Australian parliament to Julia Gillard calling her ‘deliberately barren’. I feel like my image has universal prevalence right now as women protest against the political control over their bodies and lives across the world. I have ideas about how I can exhibit my piece. I am thinking I would like to print her large, either life-sized or larger, but that does depend on cost. At this moment it is a small image, around 13 inches tall, for the impact I want her to have, she needs to be bigger. She needs to be slightly intimidating and authoritative to leave no doubt that she should be the one who is in control of her body. If I have to go smaller due to lack of space as there will be 20 of us exhibiting, I have an image that represents how women should be quiet about their body. The image was originally made to address the taboo surrounding menstruation, however, I feel this image would represent how politics is trying to lock down women’s control of their bodies and lives with the abortion laws. This image is already very small, 8×8, and it should be displayed with a fair amount of space around it in order to draw the viewer in. It is titled quiet and needs to be viewed that way. It is an image to ponder over, in contrast to my other piece.

To go forward with CT I plan to work backwards. I have my images, I now intend to read around social activism through art whilst keeping up to date with the media reports of policing of women.

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