Expose Embrace Campaign Documents Womens Self Love; pictured is one of the women who took part in the campaign
Photographer Anna Hurkowska and vintage fashion artist Avia Gurman are coming together to create a beautiful and inspiring project, called the Expose Embrace Campaign, which documents women’s journeys towards self-love, and the decision to embrace their bodies.
Anna and Avia have decided to create this project as a campaign leading to the screening of the film Embrace.
Body image activist Taryn Brumfitt from Australia created the film; it will be screened in a special event around the celebrations of International Women’s Day in the Odeon Cinema in Limerick on Sunday, March 12th.
Embrace is told from the point of view of Taryn as she traverses the globe talking to experts, women in the street and well-known personalities about the alarming rates of body image issues that are seen in people of all body types. In her affable and effervescent style, Taryn bares all (literally) to explore the factors contributing to this problem and seeks to find solutions.
Following their personal stories as women, and after watching the first screening of Embrace in Dublin in January, Anna and Avia have decided to do the ‘Expose Embrace Campaign’ to expose the subject of body image in women in Ireland. This is with the strong belief and vision that women in Ireland need to inspire and empower themselves and make a positive change in how they perceive their bodies.
Two weeks ago an open call was published on Facebook, asking women from all walks of life to be photographed nude and take part in this project.
The response was overwhelming and women were very touched by this opportunity, bringing about a deeper conversation about body image issues.
Everyday for the last two weeks, they have met women from different nationalities in Limerick and Clare. These women are different sizes, shapes and ages, and are there to document this very sensitive, gentle and, at times, difficult journey of embracing one’s body.
Avia Gurman, the owner of Lady Lilith Vintage, a body positive vintage clothing label, took the first photo in the Expose Embrace Campaign and said, “Being a woman consists of moments of pain and challenge, mainly connected to the way we perceive our bodies. For me, it became more challenging after I became a mother and experienced all the changes that occurred to my body from pregnancy to post birth. Like many other women, I’ve struggled with body image and with the beauty standards set by the mainstream fashion industry.
At present, I made a firm choice and said “enough to all this negativity” but more importantly I say enough for my body. I say that my body is enough and it’s beautiful the way it is.”
Justyna Cwojdzińska, a Limerick businesswoman and the artistic director of the Polish Art Festival in Limerick, also took part in the ‘Expose Embrace Campaign’ saying,
“Most women in the world have a problem accepting their body the way it is, to love it for what it is in all its aspects and forms, with every single curve or lack of it. After childbirth, surgeries, accidents, with the time passing our bodies change irreversibly and the world around us promotes their own standards of young and attractive bodies. We always hear “you must do this or that”, we say to ourselves “I must lose some weight”, “I must do something about it”, and it’s always “I must… I must…I should.” We have a genuine problem loving our bodies, embracing it and being kind to it. The process of accepting the body is a lengthy one and for me, this whole project is an amazing and important journey into the depths of my own self.”
After the screening of Embrace on March 12th, Anna and Avia’s work will be shown and the Expose Embrace Campaign will be officially launched. Anna and Avia envision a bigger project, which will continue to inspire and educate not only women but also men and young adults in Ireland and will bring the idea of self-love and acceptance into materialisation.
To read more about other exhibitions in Limerick, click here.