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Urban Women

"Urban Women" is a photographic series produced between 2009 and 2014, the result of a meeting between my interest in architecture, a reflection by the geographer Yves Ribaud on the occupation of space according to gender and discussions with women on what is now called "street harassment". Urban space is unequally distributed between genders. Patriarchal cultural codes make the street a place dominated by men. While it is commonly accepted that men can park in the street, women only cross it. They move from one point to another for practical purposes but do not allow themselves to wander along the way. Sexist insults, worrying “compliments”, whistles, remind them that they are potential sexual prey. This feeling is reinforced by the fear of rape which is transmitted more or less unconsciously very early on by parents worried about the safety of their daughters. Geographer Yves Ribaud does not hesitate to say: “The city belongs to men”! Unfortunately, urban planners are helping to widen this inequality. The new festive and leisure venues built are most often dedicated to men (football stadium, skateboard park, etc.) while the facilities dedicated to women bring them back to their status as stay-at-home mothers (crèches, stroller corridors). Paradoxically, while women use cars less often than men to get around, urban planning is still designed to their disadvantage (absence of public toilets, switching off of public lighting). My photographic approach questions the role of women in this apparently hostile urban space. I describe and fantasize the urban experience of different women. The photographs presented are taken at night and attempt to make these women communicate with this urban environment of which they are only passers-by, witnesses or victims. Hoping that they push back this new invisible frontier and take back their place!

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