''This self-portrait series is the sum of a deep introspective process that led to my empowerment as a woman. I found respect, immersive beauty, and personal power by uncovering myself, petal after petal, feeling, sitting with myself, accepting. - GALINA SEMENOVA
''Journey Into Thyself''
While working on this self-portraits series, I spent a lot of time with myself, contemplating and questioning different aspects of my life, particularly the rules and boundaries I set for myself. Who would I find?
A key part of my process involves inquiry and reflection. With other projects, this is a difficult task, and it was even more challenging when considering myself as the subject. Could I truly confront myself, even the darkest parts, and remain unbiased?
I decided to approach this challenge with the assumption that all of my rules and boundaries had no merit, poking holes in them from all sides. What would femininity mean to me now? Who would I find?
Growing up in post-Soviet Russia, I subscribed to the traditional conventions that a woman must get married in her early 20s, have children before 30, and silently endure abuse her entire life. I was taught it was humiliating to be single for long periods of time.
I was taught that older, unmarried women hold a particularly low social status regardless of wealth or occupation.
I believed that couples with no children were imperfect and that a woman must keep silent in order to save her family. Today, in my late 30s, I don't fit the traditional Russian mold: I don't have a husband, kids, or a normal job with a stable income. Who am I?
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