First Edition 500 Copies
17 x 24 cm
Publication Date: December 2016
The work of Ukrainian photographer Kristina Podobed might make you blush. Even if your stance on bodies, nakedness and sexuality in photography is free-spirited enough, her photos are there to catch you off-guard, to push you to the boundaries where intimacy and vulgarity suddenly merge to create a rough and honest image. It is the photographers walking that fine line who end up challenging society's moral status quo - and it's those photographers that we need the most today. Podobed started her photographic career in 2011, mainly documenting herself and her female friends. Photography for her has become a way to overcome the shyness and discomfort she felt about her own body, and to question all the social taboos which exist around nakedness. At the same time, her photos are not only about the body - they are also about female identity in our image-driven universe. Almost every girl or woman can remember being taught to look nice, to behave appropriately, to occupy less space, and Podobed is striving to dismantle these limitations. Her portrayal of girlhood is raw and honest, the opposite of glamorous and yet incredibly beautiful, of boundaries intimate but never shy, and possesses a sharp sense of humour. Today we still encounter a great deal of censorship towards female bodies in art, fashion and media, and even in our day-to-day existence through social media platforms which shame imperfections and stigmatise female nipples. The struggle against it - which Podobed, who is frequently banned from Facebook her work, is a part of - is the struggle for the ownership of the body. At the same time, being from Ukraine, Podobed helps to dismantle the dehumanising myth of the eastern European woman as a shallow doll which is still widespread in the world. She proves that beauty comes with personality, and also with tan-lines and imperfections, and freedom comes with mud and bruises - but we like it that way.
Text by Anastasiia Fedorova ©DAZED & CONFUSED 2017