Act 7

February 15, 2008

Being Feminist on Web 2.0 – Flickr Quilt 3/3

Feminist Quilt

The third and final installment in my ‘Being Female on Web 2.0’ flickr photo quilt experiment – at least for a while, I am interested in revisiting the idea sometime in the future and perhaps making a fabric quilt that captures this idea, I think it would be a great exhibition piece.

You can see the full size html quilt here, complete with links to the individual flickr pages identifying the original artists. As with the previous two works this was created by choosing the first 42 creative commons licensed images that came up when a search for the tag ‘feminist’ was performed using the flickr search function.

Why I am not doing a masculine quilt
In the comments of the ‘Feminine’ quilt Callistra suggested that I do a male/masculine quilt. I had considered doing that, but I decided against it because I want to steer away from setting up masculine/feminine dichotomies – at this stage I want to look at femaleness on it’s own terms. In fact, part of my inspiration for taking this approach comes directly from one of Callistra’s LiveJournal icons, a quote from Ginmar.

ginmar quote icon from Callistra

This is what a feminist looks like?

This was an interesting one, it differed to the ‘female’ and ‘feminine’ quilts in that the majority of the images are not portraits. There are some portraits, though even most of those seem candid, several group shots and many shots of inanimate objects that are used to represent feminist theory. Amongst the objects there are a lot of images of graffiti and posters, and also literature, stickers and t-shirts displaying feminist slogans.

At first I inferred from the many inanimate objects vs few portraits that people are reluctant to tag themselves and their subjects as feminist unless they explicitly show qualities that are stereotypically regarded as feminist. However, on further reflection I now think that the high instance of images of objects is because these objects represent feminist action – evidence of publication or participation. The group photos are consistent with this theory as well. Representation of ‘feminist’ within web 2.0 in this instance appears to be about doing things that fit the feminist philosophy, rather than about being something in particular, or embodying something, as was the case with the last two quilts.

It is not so much a case of ‘this is what a feminist looks like’, rather it is a case of ‘this is what a feminist does’.

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