What I Wore
What I Wore - A new project presented by Still Not Asking For It 2021
Always wanted to be involved in SNAFI but never been close to a place where I’m shooting? Well here is your chance!
For way too long, the conversation about sexual violence has been on what the survivor was wearing. It is still regularly used as a mitigating factor to justify a perpetrators actions.
So What I Wore is here to flip that discourse on its head and start a new conversation.
Just like Still Not Asking For It, What I Wore is designed to create a dialogue about how we frame survivors and their level of “culpability” in the crimes committed against them. Sexual violence is still the only crime that victims have to prove they didn’t deserve what happened to them.
So how can you be involved? Well this time, you’re going to be taking the photos yourselves (or with a little bit of help if necessary), in order to create a large collage of photos of survivors in the clothes they were actually wearing (or a representation of).
There are strict instructions as to how you have to take these photos, so if that isn’t possible for you, all good - keep an ear out for how you can be involved in phase II of the project, which will only need a phone!!
Sounds doable? Are you in? Read on..
The idea of What I Wore is to showcase the actual clothes survivors were wearing (or something representative) and the age they were, when their assault occurred.
The final presentation of the photos will be each survivor standing next to each other in a long somber line. A fashion parade no one wants to attend.
Your photo needs to be simple, yet evocative, uncomplicated, but emotive.
It needs to show you exactly how you were.
So what do you need to do?
Firstly, find an outfit that represents (or the actual outfit) you were wearing when you assaulted. Preferably as close to the original as you can.
Take a FULL length photo of yourself against a plain (preferably white) wall. More instructions further down and to come.
In order for this project to work there are some technical things you will need to get right.
The lighting needs to be as consistent in ever photo as possible, so ideally you would take the photo against a while wall, opposite some full length windows, around midday. Or with two ring lights, or continual lighting on either side of you. With as little shadow as possible and consistent lighting up and down your whole body.
You will also need to make sure that your whole body is included and in focus.
You want the photo to be as flat as possible so set the camera up at about chest height to get the most consistent photo. If the photo is taken at the wrong angle, I will get in touch and we can either scrap it or work out how to reshoot it.
I will shortly have an example photo for you to emulate but think of the original SNAFI photos (except full body) as a pretty good example of the position of the camera.
If there are small things around you but your outline is clear (or only one small thing is touching you) that is fine and easy to correct in post. The reason the photos needs to be against a plain background is so that you can be “cut out” of the photo and placed into a large document.
To take the photos, you will need a camera with a 35mm or 50mm lens, or something very close to it, that will be able to generate a hi-res image. This is so that we are able to print these photos and them look as consistent as possible. As the project progresses, there will be opportunities for people who do not have access to a camera. Keep an eye out
When you send through your photo. Please try and send more than one. Ideally 5 photos from the same shoot. This can help in case I need to piece together two photos or if something was more in focus in a different photo etc. I need to have choice, but I only need your best 5-10, not every singe photo.
When you send through the photo, the following information will need to be included with it, this will be displayed with the photos - the age you were assaulted, the age you are now, a description of what you are wearing and where the assault occurred (such as my bed, lounge room, on the street), and the country. Your name will not be included, however, your face will be visible.
If you would really like to be involved but must stay anonymous for legal reasons, shoot me through an email and we can discuss options.
How should you pose? This series will be similar to SNAFI in that each participant will have a quite stoicness about their face. Standing, strong, looking straight down the barrel of the camera with just your clothes and your props telling the story. What do I mean by props? Well if you were about to go to bed, maybe you have a cup of tea and a book, if you were out at a club, maybe you’re holding a drink and your coat, if you were a child, maybe you’re holding a stuffed toy but your hair is styled to look like a child. These photos are to bring a sense of realism to victims. A “this could’ve been you” vibe. Your outfit and props should be as closely matched to your original night as possible. But your face and body language should be that of a strong, proud, survivor, staring that perpetrator down through the lens.
These photos will be used to be exhibited online and in person, and may be printed all around the world. You will be asked to sign a standard model release, with the inclusion of singing over the copyright claim to the photo in perpetuity to me.
That means, if someone took the photo for you, they will need to sign this. You will sign if the photo is taken on self-timer.
THIS IS NON NEGOTIABLE
So if you are using someone who is a photographer or creative to help with your photos, make sure they are aware they will need to sign aware their copyright before they help you out.
I would also ask you to include a blurb about your story, this is not required although is preferable. It should not be an extensive but just a very brief overview of what occurred, with whom and where. I will include an example in the materials to come.
Most importantly - there is no right or wrong outfit. If you were wearing you pyjamas, if you were wearing a bikini, if you have a snow suit on, if you were wearing a sparkly dress, if you were naked, if you had “sweats” with holes in them, if you can’t remember (but can create something representative of that), if you were in a hospital gown… the idea of this project is to show the full gamut of outfits that people are wearing when they are assaulted and how different it can be; and it is completely irrelevant because you were
STILL NOT ASKING FOR IT
If this sounds like a project you’d like to be a part of. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - this will put you on the mailing list so that once I have the documents ready to send out, you will be already on the list.
I will create a formal document outlining everything that is said here ^^^, plus the model & copyright releases you will need to sign and return before I can use the photos.
If you have any further questions, please include them in your email and I will endeavour to get back to you ASAP.
This project will hopefully have phase 1 completed by the end of the year.
Thanks you so much for your time, interest and support.