Online photography project
THE WONDER INN & ONLINE
MAY 2016 - MAY 2017
#SeeMySelfie was a month long social experiment exploring self portraiture, self representation and self-acceptance run by Girl Gang Manchester and Girl Gang Sheffield in May 2016.
Do ‘selfies’ aid us in our quest for self acceptance and discovery, or do they simply drain our ability to be ‘present’ and content in the moment? Do we become reliant on selfies to give affirmation to our life experiences or appearance and are we becoming a society more enamoured with virtual likes than real life friendships? Are we empowered by being in control of the images we distribute or gradually becoming enslaved to them?
In May 2016 Girl Gang Manchester and Girl Gang Sheffield asked a variety of questions stemming from these debates through an online campaign called ‘See My Selfie’. Each day each participant reacted to a provocation and shared their image and thoughts through their social media platforms or, should they prefer, privately. Intentionally varied, these daily challenges spanned from the standard, ‘most flattering angle’ to the more unseen ‘unaltered body hair’. They knowingly addressed the ‘selfie angle’, socially contested bodies, the personality behind the filter and the fear of, reliance upon and problems with showing some skin.
The initial questions quickly became a collective journey and resulted in an online community, a powerful, beautifully printed zine and exhibitions in Sheffield and Manchester. Our Manchester show presented a selection of voices from the project alongside original art pieces responding to this exploration and discussion around self and representation. Three of the artists included were exhibitors from the Sheffield exhibition whilst three are works by Girl Gang Manchester zine contributors.
Featured artists in the Manchester exhibition:
Seleena Laverne Daye
Search the hashtag #SeeMySelfie in images linked to @GirlGangMcr and @GirlGangSheffield to explore the many different responses the project encouraged.
#SeeMySelfie online project documentary by Sophie Broadgate
#SeeMySelfie Exhibition opening evening, video by Paul Wright
BLOGS INSPIRED BY THE #SEEMYSELFIE CAMPAIGN
'I have found it to be empowering, frightening at times ~ clicking on that upload button ~ but most of all beneficial as it has helped me address my own identity and self acceptance''
'I guess you are thinking, what on Earth does this have to do with mental health? Actually I think image and perceived self affect our mental state greatly'
'It’s taking control of your self-image and allowing a platform for positivity'
'The idea of a selfie is a pretty self obsessed and egotistical thing, we share images of ourselves more than ever before. But this project shows that selfies can have a purpose, they can make you think, they can be social and they can do good'
To re-think that, as actually can this be a feminist tool, can this be something I can use to reclaim my image and the way my body as a female is represented, now that is something that I do believe in and that I think is something that is powerful'