Whether or not you’re aware of its history, pretty much every human female is familiar with the ‘male gaze.’ It’s a term you may have encountered in an art history class and is basically inescapable in our modern visual culture. Coined in 1975 by feminist film critic Laura Mulvey, it’s defined as the way in which art and literature depict the world and women from a masculine point of view, presenting women as objects of male pleasure. The Girlgaze Project is working to change that. They are celebrating girls who are not only in front of the camera, but also behind it with full control of the story they tell and how they tell it.
The Girlgaze Project Mission
Founded by Amanda de Cadenet, Girlgaze Project is made up of trailblazing women with diverse backgrounds, from the fashion industry to documentary photography.
Their mission is to take back the word girl. In their own words,
“We aim to represent the intelligence, creativity, complexity and diversity of girls’ experience—across nation, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, economic background. It is up to those who identify with being a girl to break the boundaries and determine their own identity, sexuality, and beauty.
We are telling stories and creating images by taking the camera (or any medium) into our hands to express our viewpoints, reflect our states of mind, share our interests—whether in politics, fashion, tech, beauty, business—and to show the world how we see it.”
The Girlgaze Project IRL
At it’s heart, Girlgaze is a multi-media collection of work by female-identifying photographers. They use four platforms for exhibiting these works and generating amazing exposure for the young artists they feature.
First and foremost is their incredible Instagram feed, where they curate powerful and artistic images everyday. If you’d like to get your artwork on their radar, just tag #girlgazeproject.
They also hosted the exhibition ‘#girlgaze: a frame of mind’ at the Annenberg Space of Photography from October 2016 – February 2017. Enjoy a slideshow of keynote works from the show below!
They also publish a #girlgaze zine which comes out biannually and run a grants program for artists called The Girlgaze Foundation. The foundation is funded by proceeds from their exhibition, auction, book and donations.
In collaboration with CloverLetter and Obsessee, Girlgaze has also started an initiative for how you can take action over the next four years. They have a super extensive resources list of organizations you can get involved with whether your an artist or not. Make your #next4year pledge here:
For more information on Girlgaze Project or to learn how to get involved, make sure to visit their website!
Cover photo and slideshow images via Girlgaze Project.