Nearly 150 people went to the Bury Armory for the opening of the exhibition of Perfect As Is photos of the women’s center (Le Centre des femmes du Haut-Saint-François La Passerelle). The project presented 19 shots of women, accompanied by a text written by the model. The evening was held as part of the International Women’s Rights Day and aroused its share of emotions, mainly among those who had agreed to lend themselves to the game of the camera.
From the start, the coordinator of La Passerelle, Andrée Larrivee, warned the audience. “These photos get a lot of reactions, both positive and negative. Three sentinels, or guardians of respect, crisscrossed the room to demystify the comments of the spectators. The photographs featured partially or completely nude female bodies.
The themes depicted in the shots and discussed in the accompanying texts dealt with breastfeeding, consent and beauty standards. It celebrated body diversity through body hair, stretch marks or even the traces left by childbirth. As Valérie Cloutier-Morin summed it up: “Basically, with this exhibition, what we show is that the most important thing is that we are free to be who we are. »
The 19 participants of the project did preliminary work before being photographed. They reflected in groups on different concepts during workshops that encouraged the journey and the reappropriation of one’s body. The photographer of the exhibition, Kim Gaudreau, was challenged by the concept. “I had wanted to do an exhibition highlighting women and feelings for a long time. It really spoke to me a lot. For her, the experience was inspiring. “The work is beautiful, but the process behind it is even greater. »
Julie Tremblay was in the audience given her interest in the feminist cause. She is actively involved with La Passerelle in addition to the local AFEAS unit in Cookshire-Eaton. “What I love about the exhibit is that it allows the woman to stop being afraid. »
Ms. X, a speaker from La Méridienne (Shelter for women victims of domestic violence and their children), who requested anonymity, was one of the three respect guardians of the evening in addition to having her photo displayed. As soon as the project was presented, she wanted to participate in it, before feeling a certain fear. “What am I getting myself into?” I had a certain discomfort with nudity. In the end, it went well. I was surprisingly very comfortable in front of the photographer. Personally, I never thought I would take pictures like that. But the claiming messages that come with the photos, that’s what’s beautiful. »
Her depiction and accompanying text dealt with consent and unhealthy romantic relationships. For her, the experience was liberating. “It means so much, it has so much value in this project. It is a project of body diversity and of loving yourself as you are and then of stopping being subjected to social pressures. It’s very rewarding as a project. It allowed me to be even more comfortable with my body than before. »
March 18, 2019, 1:52 p.m., by: Jean-Marc Brais, http://journalhautsaintfrancois.com/2019/03/18/une-soiree-parfaite-telle-quelle/