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When we inhabit the body

Tuesday, 06 July 2021 23:10 Written by Carol Espíndola

"Our body changes depending on How we inhabit it, attending, of course, to its inertias, But also ‘how is it that we are allowed to inhabit it’
Siobhan F. Guerrero Mc Manus

When I was a child I chose my friends by the observation of their body. I preferred those that, like me, were not "perfect" (as I had learned so far). They were similar in stature to mine (smaller than average), preferably with wide thighs (like mine), brunettes, like me. I would preferred friends that were awkward for sports, but that were able to distinguished good from bad spelling, that had no athletic bodies but could make elaborate plans for how to conquer the world during recess. I understood since then that the shape of your body could define how you relate to the world.

A little later, as a teenager, I discovered that having wide thighs and large buttocks made you easy prey to harassment, and that most male adolescents around me could claim that I sexually desired their attention. As if the structure of my body was destined for the satisfaction of someone else, regardless of my preferences and the personal decision to be or not to be a sexual being. I was ashamed of my body. I would preferred to take family photos rather than be on them.

Privately I really felt comfortable with my body, I was strong, fast on the bike, good at skating, outstanding at mental skill games, I read much faster than average, I liked the color of my skin. In private, too, I wondered if I was the one with a problem with my body.

When I started to do photography, I was interested in the absence of the body, as a kind of denial of its importance, to the impossibility of inhabiting it freely. I used to photograph the female domestic space, the lonely town fairs, human-dominated flora and fauna, all without any human presence. I knew I was free to love my body and inhabit it as honestly as possible without revealing a photographic image.

When my daughters began to grow up and stop being girls, the body started to seemed really important itself as a great storyteller. To observe the body's posture, its transformations, and its relationship with the clothing that covers it. I also realized that my own body was telling a story. I turned the camera and began to portray myself. I wanted to talk about the naked female body as a space where time passed. Achieve stripping him of the sexual charge attributed to it and being able to stop just to contemplate it.

The way we inhabit the body could seem given to us, that we were born only men or women, as if the biological nature itself was so definitive. Or that we were born perfect men and women, like Greek or Roman sculptures, or Chanel models. As if in that spectrum between the two poles of the masculine and the feminine, the perfect and the imperfect could not fit multiple bodies. With honesty as the only element in common.

Read 653 times Last modified on Tuesday, 06 July 2021 23:16