Bird in Flight Prize ‘20

Bird in Flight Prize ‘20 Finalist: Woman Go No’gree

Project by Spanish photographer Gloria Oyarzabal shortlisted for Bird in Flight Prize ‘20.

Gloria Oyarzabal, Spain

Empires, by their nature, embody and institutionalize difference, both between metropolis/colony and between colonial subjects. Imperial imaginary floods popular culture. Gender categories were one kind of bio-logic “new tradition” European colonialism institutionalized in Yoruba, Igbo, as well as other African cultures. Can we assume social relations in all societies are organized around biological sexual difference? Beauty canons, modernity, stereotypes… Beauty circulates as a commodity with social, economic, cultural value. However, these norms are often measured with Eurocentric values, white beauty narratives, ideals of beauty being strongly racialized. Whiteness is reinforced as the norm, while “otherness” becomes a fetish, “exotic”. Our socially accepted norms of beauty that idealize thinness, youth, and whiteness converge with the exoticization of black women. Decolonized feminisms question the eurocentric rational theoretical frameworks that construct gender categories in a universal manner.

The project title is a subtly changed line from the song “Lady” by Afrobeat music creator Fela Kuti. “Woman no go’gree” in lingua franca pidgin — a mix of English and Creole — means something like “woman will not listen, or will not agree”.

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POINTING HAND

Objectualization, forced primitivism, white hand pointing inquisitively. The gaze towards the “Other”. One consequence of Eurocentrism is the racialization of knowledge: Europe is represented as the source of knowledge and Europeans, therefore, as thinkers. Le Bon Sauvage.
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PINK GIRL- STRIPES (ON EXOTIZATION, HIPERSEXUALATION, VICTIMIZATION AND OTHER -ZATIONS)

Infantilization of women was also exported with the colonization of the mind, as part of a Western patriarchy based on an enormous mistrust of women's autonomy and rationality.
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LA DIMENSION FÉMININE

Colonization of the mind: religion. Deception promotes the propitious field for individuals to be colonized by the values, tastes, preferences of others, by imposing customs and prejudices, by using religions and fanaticism, by family mandates, and culture and possessions derived from a consumerism that limits the expansion of everyday life.
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COLONIZATION OF THE MIND (BEAUTY)

Beauty circulates as a commodity with social, economic, cultural value. However, these norms are often measured with Eurocentric values, white beauty narratives (thinness, youth, whiteness) and ideals of beauty being strongly racialized. Whiteness is reinforced as the norm, “otherness” becomes exotic.
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COLONIZATION OF THE MIND (RED HAND)

Colonization of the mind configures a state of vulnerability, making propitious the dependency path, constituting a subtle and alienating practice that those who execute it in daily life do so in the name of morality, values, customs proclaimed with the trick of deception. Mental submission leads to a lack of objectives.
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MOTHERHOOD/STAND UP

The three central concepts pillars of Western feminism, women, gender, sisterhood, are only understood with a careful attention to the patriarchal nuclear family from which they have emerged,a familiar form that is far from being universal. Yoruba concept of WOMEN examine the different “head ties” that adorn the word, namely as mothers, wives, and as a spiritual entity called IYAMIS.
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SORORITY

We have to take into consideration issues such as class, race, age, gender, and health as being fundamental to the female experience. Erotic, sexuality, sisterhood, motherhood, marriage, tradition, domestication… All this, with its lights&shades in each society, should come out at the same level to compare.
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UPSIDEDOWNBLUEPINK-PINK HAIR (ON EXOTIZATION, HIPERSEXUALATION, VICTIMIZATION AND OTHER -ZATIONS)

Are social relations in all societies organized around biological sexual difference? Monotheistic religions arrived with their masculine patriarchal structure implanting family units, whose ideas on private property, inheritance, and women’s presence in society, differed widely from local spirituality.
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EMPOWERMENT

Men’s role in the construction of more fair societies, maternity and family life models, strategies to achieve equality, and the support or absence of white feminism in the fight against patriarchy are some of the points most widely discussed in modern African feminist movements.
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WHITE PRIVILEGE-WILD (ON EXOTIZATION, HIPERSEXUALATION, VICTIMIZATION AND OTHER -ZATIONS)

Stereotypes, prototypes, archetypes, patterns, topics, cliché, exoticism, barbarism, victim, sensual. Maybe by understanding history we’ll be able to overcome the social and symbolic ascription only by the difference of sex and open the range to other factors for the construction of identities.
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AMBIGUITY

Many racialized feminists believe that mainstream feminism has acted as another invisible ballast on their backs, showing itself as traditionally paternalistic and exclusive with other realities that don’t fit the Western model, adopting it as a universal mantra, setting an agenda that doesn’t correspond to the concerns of the non-white world and speaking for the rest of the women of the planet.
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PIM PAM PUM

Title of the project appears in Fela Kuti’s controversial song “Lady” (Shakara LP, 1972) 12 years after Nigeria's independence, 2 years after the end of civil war and the year that revenue from oil sales boosted Nigeria’s economy. A parallel discussion about African women becoming westernised was taking place.