Marfa Vasilieva


This work questions and examines the concept of “femininity” and its thriving effect on female physicality and bodily acceptance in the countries of the post-soviet union. It is about the media, that are still promoting the image of 90-60-90, and decreasing the age of anorexia diseased. The red thread of the project is the idea of Support. 

The viewer follows all stages of women’s life: girlhood and adulthood. 63 women together in one space, they all see each other for the first time, they all have different ages, different body types, they are naked and as free and open to each other as possible. 

While working on this concept I was influenced by the form of Japanese dance – Butoh. It is also about challenges, waiting for a woman in the patriarchal society. And It is about a journey to embracing and loving your body. This project includes feminism in the context of Japanese and Ukrainian history, but this work has a more fundamental question: What is support?

I asked 93 women (63 of them ended up at the photo- and video-shoot) two questions before shooting.

1. Why is this project important to you?

  • “I work with myself on the topic of femininity. I feeling that I do not see this aspect in myself.”
  • “Naked photo for me is the way to accept myself as I am now, my physicality and identity.”
  • “I want to overcome my fears.”
  • “Sometimes it’s not clear how to be a woman, sometimes you are in a transitional state and you can get support only in a female environment.”
  • “This shooting is for me the mystery of female interaction with a special philosophy of solidarity, exchange, expansion, deepening in myself and in other women.”
  • “It is important to accept myself for who I am and feel myself a part of something more than just a person.”
  • “I want to feel a commonality with women.”
  • “This project is about something frank and nude (and I’m not talking about the body). It is more about something sincere between women.”
  • “For me, this is art therapy. To feel the power of female support and diversity.”
  • “At one time I had a very prejudiced attitude towards women. I competed and envied. Only now I came to the point that every woman is unique.”
  • “This project is an important reminder of physicality and femininity. I lose connection with these sensations from time to time.”
  • “This project is an opportunity to look at my body in a new way and possibly fall in love with it. I want to reveal myself as a woman.”
  • “I want to feel the unity of women.”
  • “It is important for me to experience femininity (in a non-media understanding of it).”
  • “I am interested in a new understanding of femininity.”
  • “For me, this project is one of the possibilities to reveal the new petals of Myself. Unite with Women and totally feel the Power, Sexuality, Tenderness, Freedom and Support when we are together.”
  • “The issue of femininity is now especially relevant for me. I rediscover it in myself.”
  • “It is important for me to be a woman and to be a part of a large female connection. I would like society to see it.”
  • “The disclosure of femininity is more important than ever during the period of taking on ourselves more responsibilities.”
  • “I’m like a boy. I started to forget how is it to be a woman. I think this project will remind me how to be a woman.”
  • “This project is the way to work with the acceptance of my body.”
  • “I’m learning how to be a woman every day.”
  • “I am shy that I am a woman. I want to overcome this strange rejection of myself.”
  • “We are always afraid to shake off our shackles, we like to hide behind a screen. This project can help to reveal and show yourself as a human.”
  • “Working with femininity is a big job that should not stop.”
  • “I want to feel dare to be myself in this shoot in a naked form.”

2. What does the expression “Woman to Woman“ means to you (please write one word)?

Friend, Sensuality, Support (27 times), Girlfriend, Communication, the Way, Unity, Need, Beginning, Native, Inspiration, Norm, Mama, Mutual Exchange, Beauty, Trust, Ally, Human, Understanding, Tenderness, Disclosure, Honesty, Community, Wisdom Exchange, Soul, Initiation, Example, Diffusion, Heat, Motivator, Love, Jug, Association, Union, Sister, Caring, Source, Involvement, Mirror, Frankness, Joy, Universe, Stream, Open door, Acceptance, Proximity, Solidarity, Strength.

Copyright © 2019 Marfa Vasilieva. All rights reserved.

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