Gender has become more and more of a prominent subject in contemporary society with the open challenge to gender roles, definitions, biases, and identities.This exhibition aims to embody the difficult and ever-shifting landscape to raise awareness for power and privilege associated with gender.
Global Health 50/50 is an independent research initiative that strives to create awareness for inequality in the areas of gender and health. Across the globe gender plays a significant role in opportunity and lifestyle, with many individuals whom do not fit neatly into the typical black-and-white understanding of gender having to live on the fringe of their respective societies. The organization launched a photography competition #Thisisgender to capture what gender means in communities all over the world. The exhibition shows work from over 200 photographers in 30 countries.
The winning image raises multiple questions of gender equality. Widow Markevich Volha Fedarauna poses in her home in Belarus where at the ages of 65-years-old and above, there are twice the number of men as there women. This image both celebrates the exploration of identity in the later years of a woman's life in Belarus, but also poses the question of which such disparity in gender life expectancy exists.
"A widowed woman sits at her home in Belarus. Surrounded by flowers, embroidery and dolls, she dries grain on her carpeted floor. Women outlive men in every country in the world. In Belarus, above the age of 65, there are more than two times as many women as men in society. Here Liankevich explores how new identities can flourish in the later years of a woman’s life."
Here are some of the other beautiful images featured in this exhibition.
"Two non-binary people in a golden field in Cape Town. Serraf draws on the visual language of afrofuturism to explore gender and African-ness, and the construction and deconstruction of identity, belonging, blackness, queerness and masculinity."
"Jim was a former soldier and truck driver. Jim transitioned to Janet in 2015 at the age of 66. She lives in the north of England in one of the largest council estates in Europe with her wife and two children, in the same house where she formerly lived as Jim. Through visual contradictions, Wilson explores the intersection of white, working class masculinity with transitional gender fluidity."
"A portrait of the photographer’s partner, Harry, a trans man, pregnant with their child, at their home. It is part of JJ’s series Queer Portraits, which plays upon the cultural value attributed to the subject of portraiture in the art historical canon."
"In the midst of a power cut, an elderly woman searches for her medicines in her small room in an old people’s home in Varanasi. The widowed woman, although elderly and living in impoverished conditions, seems strong, capable and independent. Her face is determined, her posture supported by her own arm, and her hand holds steady the illuminating light."
"Humphrey Ndebele, Khotso Rams, Tsepo Kgathlane and Debbie Molefe pose together at The Fetish Ball competition. Held a day before Johannesburg Pride at the Tennis Club, the event is an important date in the LGBT+ community in South Africa and provides a critical space for expressing, reflecting and experimenting with gendered and sexual identity."
"Surrounded by bushes, a young man rehearses the ‘chhou’, an Indian folk dance, for a performance of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. Playing the part of the peacock, he is dressed in a sparkling, vibrant costume, adorned with gold and azule jewelry. It is traditional for men to play such gender fluid roles in depictions of Hindu epics."
"Portrait of the photographer’s 15-year-old son at a spa in Austria, using underwater photography to capture the disorientating experience of adolescence and the way in which outside structures shape the transition of childhood into adulthood."
I appreciate this is a sensitive topic and all of our politics and views are likely to differ in one way or another. As always, we invite discussion over the subject matter of the images and the images themselves. However, this isn't the platform for comprehensive essays on the difference between equality and equity, or equality of opportunity over equality of outcome, and so on. Hateful comments will not be tolerated full-stop.
All images used courtesy of, and with the permission of Global Health 50/50