Monday, October 3, 2011

studs of circumstance.

stretching the limits of what it means to be a photographer, the project of cosmin bumbuț brings forward intimate moments of life into which a male photographer could not otherwise have access.

he gave cameras to the inmates at tîrgșor women's penitentiary in romania and received a collection of content from life within forced borders. he then created a video (i cannot embed, but urge you to go and watch it) with the following description:
girlboys are women who, during prison detention, assume a male identity. they have “wives” who tidy up, do the laundry and wash the dishes. girlboys protect them, fulfill their emotional need and offer them sexual pleasure. they have men nicknames, cut their hair short and wear masculine clothes, clench their fists and demand respect. some of them have children at home and they do this only while they are imprisoned. other, continue their relationships after they are released. most of them are old offenders. almost all have suffered sexual abuse.
the selected set of photographs shot by the women themselves portray a world where elaborate gender systems flourish, but is in no way a stereotypical portrayal of prison life turning women into lesbian predators and victims. the longing for everyday aesthetics – frilly sheets, flowers –, privacy and close relationships is so evident, alive and yet constantly at peril.

from degetoaice 2011 © cosmin bumbuț

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