‘If you cry in public you must hide it’
‘If you sweat in public you must hide it’
‘If you breastfeed in public you must hide it’
We are exploring this censorship by photographing a group of women, in different ‘wet’ states and conversing with them. The aim is to open up a discourse about women and wetness, wet bodies, wet emotions, in both, the public and the personal space.
The term wetness, assumes different meanings and properties, it relates to intimacy, expression, nakedness, sensuality, spirituality. But they all go back to the same starting point and the vision of a wet woman framed by the gaze of strangers and judgement of society – perhaps even
themselves. There are rules both state and social about the amount of exposure of human waters in public; if you get your period in public you need to hide it, if you want to breastfeed with your milk you either need to do it discreetly, or cannot do it at all. It is not of course “illegal” to cry in public or to have sweat marks but instead you can be embarrassed, awkward, and partake in self inflicting punishment. It comes from the notion that the expression of water, the fact that we come from water, is something to be censured.
by Simone Steenberg and Dimitra Petsa