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Female gaze goes viral

by Willemieke Kars


This crisis has had a big impact on me as a documentary photographer and feminist. In the space of a few days, I lost all my assignments. I also worry a lot about my at-risk parents, and I hardly see my friends. I face financial uncertainty, and the stress of wondering how I can continue my photography projects when I’m supposed to be social distancing.

Right now, in the middle of this pandemic, I think it’s more important than ever to make women visible. Viruses and other crises seem to make no distinction between people, yet they have different effects on different groups in our society.

Women are driving the response to these events. Many are working in vital healthcare posts, and we call them heroes without thinking that women still earn less than men. Because of the pandemic, women have less access to abortion and more exposure to domestic violence, the impossibility of sex work, single motherhood, and poverty.

This room is an ode to all the women of Amsterdam, the city that I love very much. I’m proud that I’ve been able to do this together with fifty other women, and that so many have converted fear, in-security, anger and frustration into work. This has nurtured and strengthened me enormously. The room features stories about sex work, breast cancer, loneliness, masturbation, and a woman who reads aloud. Female gaze goes viral is a combination of stories by professional and amateur artists, or just your neighbour, and all deserve a place in the Amsterdam Museum corona archive.

I’ll keep filling the room, so keep sending in your work!




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