“Girls”  by Sophie Davidson.
44 pages, full colour zine. Available in print (Edition of 65) and PDF.
Unlike most photozines, “Girls” presents itself with a heavy dose of text, so much so in fact that there isn’t a single spread that doesn’t contain some. A 1:1 ratio; it’s very rare to find anything like that. There just doesn’t seem to be a real hunger for photography text like this and it’s a real shame.
Personally, my approach to managing DigitalFaun is that if I’m just posting other people’s images, I’m not generating new content and the endeavor is fruitless. There are plenty of curatorial photoblogs which will pump you full nice images on an hourly basis. While I enjoy them nonetheless, I find them shallow and disposable. There’s not much input once the initial image selection process has passed and that irks me so I try my best to run this page differently from others.
There are hinderances with operating in this sort of manner. For instance, it often takes me up to two hours to complete even relatively short text posts. So when I come across a zine like Sophie’s, I get all giddy with excitement.
What the artist has done here is turn a basic series of well-shot portraits into something much more. She has added context and provided an immediate framework for analysis. The text in this book allows the photographer to utilise the series in a diaristic way, giving you a portrait of life as a girl in transition to womanhood. Though written by the subjects, the words are not specific to just those featured but to the subsection of society which they represent and everything contained here feels like it could be applicable to any one of the girls I’ve known in my life.
Naturally with a topic such as this, the role of feminism needs to be addressed and I don’t think I’ve come across a study more relatable as a male than I have here. It’s always been an area which I have dipped and dodged around due to an intrinsic lack of understanding and a fear of saying the wrong thing but the tale of how, as a child, one subject came to realise which gender she belonged to, shed light on the unfamiliar. The only thing comparable to this section which I’ve come across is a poem I studied in secondary school titled “In the Waiting Room” by Elizabeth Bishop in which she undergoes the same biological epiphany.
But I felt: you are an I,
you are an Elizabeth,
you are one of them.
Why should you be one, too?
I scarcely dared to look
to see what it was I was.
What Sophie has made here is not a series of photos, or a book, or anything else tangible for that matter. She has made a statement. And a damn powerful one at that.
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- planetjulie420 said: I want one !!
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- meatinjection said: big up sophieeeeeeee
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