This piece is inspired by Baya Mahieddine’s paintings and the interpretation of these by Assia Djebar.
‘Butterfleyes’ flutter around the subject; they are a call to the natural world which is so prominent in Baya’s paintings. This world is a place of peace, a place of power, far removed from the wearisome experience of a society dominated by men. Baya recalls the serenity of such a place in “the water that streams, that sings … that sets us all free.”
It is in this context that this piece celebrates a woman’s display of beauty and the normalisation of female nudity; an antithesis to the patriarchal valuation of women for their sexual and reproductive capacities. The multitude of eyes which span the wings of these ‘butterfleyes’ intensifies the female gaze and brings to mind Frantz Fanon’s reflection of the “woman who sees without being seen,” striking fear in those men who wish to control her and her body.
The smartphone also holds this liberated eye, serving as a tool of observation and mobilisation against the sexism embedded in our society.
Thank you, Pablo for submitting your work.
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