city of brotherly love

Hannah Price’s “City of Brotherly Love”

I studied Price’s brilliant photo series for a class and wrote about its merits as an activist art piece. Here are some of my thoughts about this photographer’s response to street harassment:

Every Day After Work

Every Day After Work

Price’s individual, daily experience of catcalling and street harassment sparked her interest in creating “Every Day After Work” and the entire “City of Brotherly Love” series. After moving to Philadelphia, where she lived for three years, she began to experience attention from men as she walked down her block daily for the first time in her life. She felt uncomfortable with how common this occurrence became, having never dealt with such persistent, straightforward and unwarranted sexual attention on her own street, and she decided to respond to the discomfort she and so many women worldwide experience daily.

“It’s an inappropriate moment,” Price said of the experience of being catcalled. She flipped the inappropriate action of catcalling around through her photographs. Rather than suppressing the anger, discomfort, and other negative emotions often associated with the experience of being catcalled, Price turned around and spoke to the men who were harassing her. She began conversations with these men, and worked with them on the process of creating a photograph.

Activism is generally defined as some sort of action taken in order to shift power dynamics. Price’s work does exactly that. She flips the focus of the gaze and the focus on the female body. In order to do so, she turns these portraits of each man who catcalled her into studies of each of their personas and bodies, instead.