Us and Bond
Us and Bond (2014) Photographs, Black and White, Colour, 60 cm x 80 cm
A mother feeding her child -- the most natural aspect of motherhood – and yet every day women are scolded and embarrassed for nursing their hungry babies in public. The whole conversation about breastfeeding is entangled in all kinds of social and cultural ideas about human nature, sexuality, and how we think about individual human bodies in relation to the larger social body. Breasts are often acceptable as items of objecti cation, but somehow become offensive and obscene when used to feed a hungry infant. Why is sexual objecti ca- tion acceptable, when nurturing is not?
With this intimate series of portraits, Xhafa-Mripa challenges the rigid conformity inher- ent in the role women play in male-dominated societies. In Us (2014) Xhafa-Mripa looks de antly into the camera; while in Bond (2014) she transfers her tender gaze to the most important subject, her daughter.
The largeness of each photograph is meant confront this stigmatised issue – as a kind of ‘in your face’ rebellion. She challenges socially and culturally embedded ideas about how we think of women’s bodies in relation to society.