All posts tagged: Endia Beal

Endia Beal’s Am I What You’re Looking For?

“At Yale University, I found myself in a place of ‘double consciousness’,” recalls Endia Beal, citing the writer, sociologist and activist WEB Du Bois. Beal was the only black person in the 2013 cohort for the fine arts MA in photography, and also in her workplace – an IT department. “I grew up in one culture and now inhabited another, becoming a mediator between these two worlds,” she says. Upon learning that her hair, a red Afro, fascinated her colleagues, she turned the tables on them, allowing them to feel it but recording their impressions. “It felt like I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to be doing but wanted to do,” admits one of them, while others spoke of the moment being “uncomfortable”, “voyeuristic” or “awkward”, highlighting the inappropriateness of the question, “Can I touch your hair?” Beal’s work since has continued to question and provoke, often challenging the uniformity of corporate culture. In an amusing but no less incisive series, she styled seven white women in their forties with ‘black’ hairdos, then took head …

2017-04-19T16:12:34+00:00

#BJP 7859: Female Gaze

BJP

“Photography is an expression of power,” writes Charlotte Jansen in our cover feature this May. “The photographic act is often viewed as an assertion of masculine dominance; a predatory point-and-shoot action.” She argues that social media and the sheer power of the number of women getting behind the camera is changing all that, and affecting how we see things. Though it’s a contentious issue, Jansen confident that the female gaze is different to the male – that “they see the world differently – in just as much colour and nuance. We are beginning to see that world, everywhere we look.” Is she right? One magazine issue isn’t big enough to answer – but we have followed up her hypothesis by interviewing three women about their work. Endia Beal taps into the unwritten codes of the corporate ‘look’ in her work Am I What You’re Looking For?, for example, interrogating what it means to look ‘professional’ and the extent to which black women can fit those maxims. “At Yale University, I found myself in a place of …

2017-05-09T12:33:01+00:00

BJP Staff