Objectifs' annual Women In Film & Photography programme caps a year marked by urgent feminist movements
An all-female exhibition is essentially no more interesting than an all-male line-up of swinging cocks, especially when there is no larger curatorial or thematic purpose. That being said, little progress has been made in the contemporary art world and statistics continue to paint a depressing picture of gender disparity in exhibitions, gallery representation and auction sales. In the midst of the cultural reckoning spurred by the #MeToo movement, women-centred shows have taken on new significance and prominence. In Singapore, independent art space Objectifs joins this uprise with the fourth edition of their annual 'Women in Film & Photography' programme. From the Rohingya humanitarian crisis in Myanmar to the ISIS occupation in the Middle East, the showcase features shorts, feature-length films and photography that depict female empowerment within patriarchal societies around the world.
Six internationally acclaimed women photographers are featured in the Women in Photography exhibition: alongside Izumi Miyazaki's surreal and absurdist 'selfies' and Haley Morris-Cafiero's viral Wait Watchers series, Laura Boushnak's I Read I Write examines the barriers to literacy for women in Arab countries while Singaporean photojournalist Wong Maye-E’s All I Have Left Are My Words (with writer Kristen Gelineau) documents the on-going sexual violence against women in Rohingya.
The Women in Film programme will see the local premiere of four international feature films: the anthology film Waru delves into eight Maori women’s perspectives on child abuse; the intimate documentary On Her Shoulders reveals the heartwrenching story of 23-year-old Nadia Murad, a survivor of genocide and of sexual slavery by ISIS. To contextualise the heavy issues and extend the conversation further, post-screening discussions will take place with moderators drawn from beyond the world of film, and include writers Alfian Sa’at and Balli Kaur Jaswal, and social justice advocate Christina Liew.