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The last few months have marked the development of a number of efforts to combat street harassment. Artists such as Tatyana Fazlalizadeh have turned their personal experiences into public artwork with written public messages such as “I’m not your baby.” The organization Hollaback! recently released an app that allows women to report instances of street harassment to the police.
Most recently, photographer Hannah Price made waves across the web when she created a series of photographs of men who verbally harassed her (otherwise known as catcalling) on the streets of Philadelphia. Like other anti-harassment initiatives, “City of Brotherly Love” is ultimately about bringing awareness to the subject of street harassment and getting catcallers to treat the subjects of their calls with respect. But Price’s work differs from some of these other campaigns in one key way.
In an interview with The Morning News, Price described the process of taking the photographs: When someone catcalls her, she either immediately takes their picture or asks for the person’s permission to be photographed. While photographing them, Price says she and the man “talk about our lives as I make their portrait,” in order to “capture what is interesting about the person.”
By treating her harassers as people, Price certainly isn’t condoning their behavior. But, in doing so, she puts a face back on what can be a dehumanizing experience. Her work reminds us that street harassment is more than just a series of dismal statistics, but a highly personal and emotional experience that always takes place between two individuals. No matter the viewer’s gender or experience with street harassment, Price’s work makes it possible to relate.
All images used here by Hannah Price
What do you think about Price's project? Let us know in the comments below or tweet the author at @ShanaDLebowitz.