Most of my stories begin in or around the woman and I think it is only fair. In Africa, a woman is seen as a vessel that holds the beginning of things, even though she might not carry it till the end. Like a mother birthing a child and handing him over to his father. A girl beginning her life with hopes and dreams only to drop them at the doors of marriage. I believe the feminine story is the most poignant tale you could ever tell and my images represent it as such:
“Femme” shows a young girl in a vulnerable stance, one that is preferred for a woman to have. The flower in her mouth representing both her body and an offering, taking into account that her body can also be an offering/is more comfortably considered as an offering by many. Her lips pulled together in a frown, the lines on her face. She is dissatisfied with this mandatory portrayal of femininity but does it anyway.
This is the reality of our young ones. We are pushed into boxes and expected to live our life within that cramped space. Expected to be everything our society terms “womanly” or “manly”. Failure to do so exposing us to consequences beyond our imagination.
These photos come at a time when powerful forces seek to silence us as young Nigerians. The title “unfettered” comes as a prayer of hope in this case because in reality, we are shackled and afraid, looking over our shoulders. It displays the growing desire in every young Nigerian/African and other peoples around the world, who suffer from various injustices to just scream out and create change.
Anointing Obuh is a writer, singer, and photographer from Nigeria. A one-time best of the Net nominee, her works have been featured in Rattle, Mineral Lit mag, Honey and Lime Lit, Barren magazine and elsewhere. You can find her tweeting @therealAnniekay.