"GET HOME SAFE"
2020 / digital photography / spatial intervention
It is not just the act of violence that is oppressive, it is also the threat of it. In this work I wanted to move away from the more common discussion of this topic that surrounds how women do or do not allegedly “invite” attackers and focus on what the fear of that attack itself does to the women who live it.
The types of clothes and expressions of queerness we shed in favor of a more normative shape; the schedules that curl, fetal-esque, around shrinking hours of daylight; the trees whose shadows we dare not walk under in case someone emerges and drags us into the woods. We have considered quitting our jobs for fear of walking home after getting off work, have carried less and worn flat shoes in case we need to run, phoned others to boost their presence (a perverted reincarnation of the Victorian chaperone for the single woman), chosen packed pockets over big bags of possessions, avoided ponytails, augmented a small frame with baggy clothes and chunky shoes.
Do we not have the right to the commons we share? The right to form our day around more than a few hours? Do we not have a right to experience the natural dark, the solitude of it? Do we not have the right to perform sexuality in the arousing night without physical punishment? The male-occupied dark often polices women for not only being sexual, but existing with sexual potential. This is the fact of our being that haunts us as we walk from A to B in the dark.