The average woman in my community has experienced one form of oppression or the other. In my observation as a young woman, the idea of being bodily autonomy does not exist as a personal decision but as something which has to be decided on behalf of the woman by the society. I live in a society where the media still carries headlines that spread “revenge pornography” in the form of “leaked” sexual material which more often than not targets the woman.
When a woman is raped or undressed in the name of uncontrollable desire her undergarments are the last thing seen before the act. With the different incidences of violence and abuse happening against women in my society, I became curious about the sexual innuendos that surround womanhood and identified the bra as a metaphor for women’s vulnerability in these circumstances.
My interest was more on women sex workers as they fall under a class of women which society has shunned and declared deserving of abuse. While others see these women as merely objects of sexual exploitation, I was interested in the idea that against all odds they have embraced their profession and in my opinion are more courageous than most.
In this photo essay I was inspired by the idea of being naked and dressed and how they feed into each other. My intention was to express what women do to cope and how this can be both a freedom and a chain. In my view sex work is a double edged sword and women involved in it find themselves in situations that are either good or bad for them.
All images taken by Kresiah Mukwazhi