LomoWomen : "DIY Spanks Workshop" by Romy Alizée with the Lomo'Instant Square Glass (NSFW)

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This March, we celebrate women photographers on the Lomography Magazine. We took this opportunity to talk with Romy Alizée. She is a photographer, performing artist and sex worker. She's famous for her stand against censorship on the internet published by the French newspaper Libération. In her practice, she aims to shake the codes of eroticism and pornography as shown by her series of photos of a "DIY Spanks Workshop" taken with the Lomo'Instant Square Glass. We talked with Romy Alizée who insists on the fact that it's "important to know women photographers, to be united and to collaborate.".

© Romy Alizée with the Lomo'Instant Square Glass. Model: Morthy Devase.

Hello Romy! How did you start photography and what place does it occupy in your life today?

I'm self-taught. I was a model for erotic photography for years and it's by observing the others that I've learned photography. In this way, I developed a critical eye on nude photography which lead me to choose what I'll picture and how.
Photography is a huge part of my life but I also have a film practice and I'm working on a trilogy of photographic movies co-directed with Laure Giappiconi, the first episode “Romy & Laure et le secret de l’Homme Meuble” (Romy & Laure and the secret of the man furniture) was released last year.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Porn culture, my friends who are sex workers, vintage erotic pictures, porn movies from the '70s and dykes.

In December 2018, the French newspaper Libération published your tribune "Fury at the censorship of the net" after Instagram closed your account. Could you tell us a bit more about your commitment? For our readers, the English version of your statement can be found on Curated by Girls' website.

I wrote this text to give visibility to what we were not talking about: the arbitrary censorship of social media channels. Censorship is excluding as our patriarchal society: racism, fat-shaming, sex workers shaming and transphobia. Since then, I have not seen any change and the Avia law (French law against online hate) which was just approved by the government won't improve the situation. Pornography has always been the ideal target, it's held responsible for the violence against women and children. However, women film directors, feminist and queer artists are working for a more inclusive and diversified representation of sexualities and bodies but the tools to promote their works are social media and the internet. The censorship practices remove total creative freedom and the possibilities of showing independent projects about sexuality. I advise reading this French tribune of Mediapart I signed against censorship of pornography.

You mainly take pictures of women, sometimes men, most of the time nude bodies. What is your approach of photographed nudity?

I've always been interested in the representations of naked bodies, and I have been since my childhood. I don't know where this comes from but very early I wanted to be the kind of woman who poses naked. Becoming a photographer allowed me to make up for an obvious lack of diversity in classic erotic imagery. This male gaze (the photographer) on a (young) woman (the model) tells a story which is not mine, but that has established itself as a neutral gaze, conditioning our imaginaries and our desires. I suffered from this male gaze culture because I understood it was not for me, and yet, this gaze modified the way I see myself and the others. To choose to represent me, to invest pornography and eroticism to shake their codes was a necessity. It's a gesture of love and of desire, of revolt too. Of affirmation.

© Romy Alizée with the Lomo'Instant Square Glass. Model: Morthy Devase.

And what is your approach of self-portrait and staging yourself? Would you say that it's in the continuity of your model work and the fact you studied drama?

Yes, totally. I'm an actress and performer. To be the main subject of my pictures allows me to tell a story, the story of my gaze. It's a way to replay the work of model but I'm the one who chooses the staging, the pose, and the one who presses the shutter-release. It's also easy to be my own model for explicit images as I can do everything, I'm not ashamed of my represented body and I'm not sensitive to moral objections. My approach is clear, I know where I'm going and why I do this work of representation.

As a woman photographer, what is your experience in this field? Do you feel that gender is important? Do you have some positive or negative experience to share with us?

What is a stake is to be hired, exhibited, published, given visibility. And not for the bad reasons. The time of "special women" categories is now over. They are many talented women artists but as in every field, the dominants want to keep the control and they are the ones who are in charge, it's complicated to find a place. I advise everyone to go to the La part des femmes collective to understand how sexism works in the photography field. To me, it's important to know women photographers, to be united and to collaborate.

Could you tell us a bit more about the photos you took with the Lomo'Instant Square Glass?

I work in black & white so it was a bit a challenge to work in color. I wanted to avoid to take "cool" polas of "cool" women, so I thought about something more fun. With Morthy, who is the model of the series, we imagined a DIY spanks workshop for a sex party. The series is the result of this workshop. I think it works well as a mini-series.

© Romy Alizée with the Lomo'Instant Square Glass. Model: Morthy Devase.

What do you think of our instant camera? You mainly take analogue pictures, what did instant photography offer you?

I'm not used to instant photography and I work a lot my framing. Here, it was a bit more difficult to be precise and I had some hiccups, haha. But it's interesting to construct a series that is consistent in a spontaneous way. To be done again!

Would you like to let us know about your future projects?

This year, I will work on a performance project with Marianne Chargois. It will be political, inevitably, and we will talk about the sexist treatment of women artists. Then, in June, the second episode of my trilogy directed with Laure Giappiconi will be released: “Romy & Laure… et le mystère du Plug Enchanté” (Romy & Laure... and the mystery of the magic plug. The first episode is available on IndieBill. And, I'll also keep on taking photos, always in order to represent the queer and lesbian desire et to settle in!


To know more about Romy Alizée, visit her website and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

written by florinegarcin on 2020-03-08 #culture #people #international-women-s-day #iwd2020 #lomowomen2020

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Lomo'Instant Square Glass

Lomo'Instant Square Glass

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3 Comments

  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    It's very interesting to hear from female erotic model themselves 💖 "I'm in male photographer's imagination that is not me" hope I could talk to you someday

  2. mike1allison
    mike1allison ·

    I love this discussion. Im a sexologist and sex workers often see a cross v section if sexual mores and philosophies. So important to hear and consider their art and their thoughts. Thank you!

  3. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Interesting...

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