The recent project of the self-proclaimed “half performer, half artist, half spectator and half provocateur” Haley Morris-Cafiero has elements of all her self-descriptions!
She called the project “Wait Watchers”, and explains that what she did is set up a camera on the street, and then do ordinary activities in front of it, such as looking at a map or eating a gelato. While she does that, the camera is taking hundreds of photos.
Morris-Cafiero later looks through the photos and notices what is happening around her. She finds out that people are very often looking at her body, commenting with body language and even mocking her.
She considers her photographs a social experiment and she reverses the gaze back on the stranger while placing the viewer in a position of being a witness at that point in time. According to her, the project is a performative form of street photography.
She has been doing this in the US and abroad
She even published a book called The Watchers, in which she includes comments made to her in each photograph
Even this police officer feels comfortable to mock her in public
Even though she is not looking at the people around her, her photographs capture the judgement she takes from strangers
Her photographs can be found in galleries too, with the words written beside them
But she doesn’t only get negative comments about her body. There are people who have experienced similar discrimination, and they support her and her work.
Even though we all know that people, and women, in particular, are often discriminated for their size and body, seeing it in photographs is even more upsetting.
People often identify with Morris-Cafiero, meaning that women are very often being stared at, commented and judged by people who should mind their own business! Her project has gone viral! Do not miss to check out more of her work!