Objectifs' annual Women In Film & Photography programme caps a year marked by urgent feminist movements

Objectifs' annual Women In Film & Photography programme caps a year marked by urgent feminist movements

Female gaze

Text: Yimin Huang

Editor: Aravin Sandran

Image: Laura Boushnak
Image: Paula Jones

With #MeToo and #TimesUp movements gaining momentum globally, Objectifs spotlights female photographers and filmmakers who are documenting and empowering disenfranchised communities around the world

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.
The intimate documentary On Her Shoulders profiles 23-year-old Nadia Murad, a survivor of the genocide and sexual slavery inflicted by ISIS.

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.

Women in Film & Photography is on view at Objectifs from 5 October to 18 November 2018.