On the Wall: ‘Take Ten’ Explores a Woman’s Perspective

Emily Dextraze is a 12-year-old beauty pageant competitor who lives in Westfield, Massachusetts. From the series "The Tree and the Apple: Tilting Toward Adolescence."© Ilana Panich-Linsman
From the series "The Tree and the Apple: Tilting Toward Adolescence."© Ilana Panich-Linsman
Neema Bonke, 35 years old. Neema is a single mother of three children. Bulengo IDP (Internally Displaced People). Camp outside of Goma, DR Congo, March 2014. From the series "Street Studios."© Alexia Webster
Mercy Mofokeng and her sister. Kaptein Street, Hillbow, Johannesburg, October 2013. From the series "Street Studios."© Alexia Webster
From the series "Cancer Family, Ongoing."© Nancy Borowick
From the series "Cancer Family, Ongoing."© Nancy Borowick
Tunde’s trafficker, the father of her children, is currently in jail for unrelated crimes. Today, she is happily married to a different man, but two of her children were taken from her by social services. Tunde, her husband, and a third child live in poverty, and they are struggling to make ends meet each month. Her biggest wish is a little house with a garden for her family. From the series "AWHERENESS: Human Trafficking in Romania and Moldova."© Annie Ling
Natasha, 26 years old and suffering from mental illness, resides in this rancid and dirty, pitch-dark bedroom in her mother’s house on the outskirts of Chisinau, Moldova. From the series "AWHERENESS: Human Trafficking in Romania and Moldova."© Annie Ling
And on this spit of land Massa and I reside, 2014, Vlake Bos, Kings County, New York. From the "White Shoes" series.© Nona Faustine
They tagged the land with Institutions and Trophies from their Rapes and Conquests, 2013. New York, New York.© Nona Faustine
Encounters with Disobedient Priests.© Giulia Bianchi
Encounters with Disobedient Priests.© Giulia Bianchi

What are the most critical issues facing women today?

A new photography exhibit addressing that very overwhelming question opens tomorrow evening at the Rita K. Hillman Education Gallery inside the School at ICP. "Take Ten," which was co-curated by ICP alumna Nancy Borowick and Alison Morley, Chair of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program, features photographs of 10 alumnae of the program who are working across the globe and examining a range of topics such as sex trafficking in Moldova and Romania, the $5 billion child beauty pageant industry, and the history of slavery in New York City.

“In an industry dominated by men I appreciate the platform to be able to share, not only stories about women, but stories by women,” says Nancy Borowick, who will display work from her deeply personal photo project, “Cancer Family,” about her mother who passed away from the disease last month. “The day that we actually hung the show was the day of my mom’s funeral,” she says.

According to Morley, it was Borowick’s long-term project that actually inspired the show. In selecting the other participants Morley says she was interested in finding photographers who were supporting other females in their projects—“sex workers who are fighting for their rights, women becoming priests, women dealing with their own racial identity in Africa as well as in America,” she says. “In a broad way they all have a documentary practice to their work, whether it be posed portraiture or actual reportage.”

Because photography remains dominated by male perspectives, a show dedicated to bringing the vision of many women together is a refreshing one. “It has been a joy being able to pull this community together,” Borowick says. “We are all sort of spread out—trying to tell our own stories, get the word out, and fend for ourselves. Sometimes we might be each other's competition, but beyond that there is a community and a sisterhood.”

"Take Ten"opens Friday, Jan. 16, 2015 and will remain on view until March 15. The exhibit features work from Giulia Bianchi, Annie Ling, Ilana Panich-Linsman, Nancy Borowick, Nona Faustine, Tiana Markova-Gold, Lara Tabet, Alexia Webster, Julie Nymann and Laís Pontes.

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