The 21st-century metropolis still poses discomfort and offenses against women, mostly through harassment. In this photographic interview, UK-based photographer Eliza Hatch speaks about the prevailing issue not through words, but with portraits shot in analogue.
Her series "Cheer Up Luv" is a photojournalistic attempt to curate the experiences of women in terms of street harassment. As a woman herself who grew up in t he city, Hatch had her unfortunate share of catcalls and harassment. The idea, however, didn't spark overnight. Like all other victims, she would usually brush it off, mention it to a friend, until she found out several women are experiencing these offenses.
"The purpose of the project is to tell these women's stories and try to raise awareness about an issue that is completely overlooked. I wanted to create a platform for these women's voices to finally be heard and to turn their situations where they once felt vulnerable into ones where they are empowered... The project exists because of my experiences, but It is not about me. My job is to be the curator, to tell the stories of all these women. It is their voices and their faces that I want to show."
Hatch shoots the series in analogue, preferring the feel of the film medium:
Here's a more interesting take on Hatch's ambitious project as she answers our questions through photographs.
In your series "Cheer Up Luv", you document the narratives of women who experienced sexual harassment. If there's one portrait that can represent the whole ongoing collection, what portrait would it be?
There are a lot of portraits all showing women their subtle strength. Whose expression/pose did you like the most?
Among the portraits (not a self-portrait), how do you usually see yourself, "Eliza Hatch" as a woman?
Which among the portraits seem to be the most angered (or frustrated) due to male subjugation?
The portraits are all accompanied by a short blurb, but a picture can already speak a thousand words. Which among the photos speak the loudest of her story?
Do you think any of the portraits showed a 'hint' of fear? If there is, which portrait is it?
Lastly, how about a portrait of a woman that you think will intimidate and fend off harassers away?
More from "The Photographic Interviews" series:
The Photographic Interviews: Carol Golemboski's Analogue Magic
The Photographic Interviews: Paula Latimori in Double Exposures
The Photographic Interviews: Intimate Views of Hasisi Park's Family Life
The Photographic Interviews: Ahndraya Parlato and Inquiry to Reality