Images of Women Forced To Live As Men

Images of Women Forced To Live As Men

Jill Peters' project, Sworn Virgins of Albania features women who chose to live their entire lives as males in order to avoid the oppressive laws of the Kanun. In the Balkans, women are considered to be property of their husbands, which means women basically are not allow to do anything freely. The freedom to drive, earn their own money, drink, smoke or even swear are all foreign concepts to them. As young girls, they are forced to get married to much much older men. To fight this, they only had one option - to live their lives as men.

Lumia2

jpeters7

jpeters6

jpeters4

jpeters2

jpeters

jpeter1

jp

14 Comments

Commenting is closed for this article.
Fly wit Me's picture

fascinating...

my photography professor did the exact same project, one year earlier.
http://www.pepahristova.com/sworn-virgins/1/

and it looks like they shared a subject as well (with the cane)

just dont be missinformed, this is only case in Albania, not the Balcans. Balcans are made up from many countries and none of them are treating women like this. Google before taking it seriously :)

There is the case of bosnia too. And this is a phenomenon very ancient and now disappearing, because the modernity let the woman to dress, talk and smoke like a man so... This phenomenon, for whom don't understand, is a way to emancipate and to be free. Is like a transgender ante litteram... Any problems? And these woman are very respected and Albanians are proud of them! Don't judge!

This is NOT standard in the Balkans, only with the Albanian community.

Exactly. Don't plant those kind of ideas into people's minds. This is NOT the standard issue across the Balkans. Get your facts straight.

This is not a standard! This is an exception in the albanian community too, but it isn't a very ancient tradition to emancipate woman.

Should not reference the Balkans at all in this piece.....imagine you claimed that the national dish of the entire Europen region were snails and frogs legs! How accurate would that be?
Hell, try a bit harder,will you?

babo's picture

that hurts, considering Albania the oldest country in that reagion 

"In America the people are called hillbillies  – they are the poor, ignorant, feuding family with a huge brood of children tending the family moonshine still."
How would you like this 'explanation'? Ha?

B-lec's picture

a - Balkans men all treat/ed women the same
b - Albanian sworn virgins took up the role of men not in order to escape the Kanun (because the Kanun actually had laws to protect women - don't forget this was back in the 15th century), but they took up this role to protect their family when there was no male heir.

"In the Balkans, women are considered to be property of their husbands, which means women basically are not allow to do anything freely. The freedom to drive, earn their own money, drink, smoke or even swear are all foreign concepts to them. As young girls, they are forced to get married to much much older men."

Clearly Jill Peters does not know what she is talking about. The latest in a long line of "journalists" and "artists" to treat the Balkans as an exotic place far removed from the modern world. These statements may have been historically true, but any short visit to any Balkan country would inform you that they are not now.

And the sworn virgins became so when their fathers died and they were the only ones left to take care of the family. Not to escape the Kanun, this was something sanctioned in the Kanun.

Right!