UTE

BEHREND

From Germany. Lives and works in Cologne.

Bear Girls

How do young girls become strong women? Adolescence is the theme of my new book. At the beginning I tell a story about a fictional Indian tribe that separates its pubescent girls and dresses them in bearskins. In this way they are protected from premature sexualisation. The result is a shelter that gives the girls the opportunity to develop freely and self-determinedly in this important phase of their lives. I call these girls “bear girls” and draw parallels in our society, where free spaces for adolescent girls become less and less. Many young women try to evade the stereotypes of sexualised identification that are shaped by society and the media. This is often evident in similar behaviour patterns, e.g. wearing very large sweaters that girls like to “borrow” from their father’s wardrobe. In “Smart Girls, Gifted Women”, Barbara Kerr examined the similarities that later became strong women. She found that all girls had time for themselves, the ability to fall in love with an idea, and a “protective cover”. None was particularly popular and most remained relatively isolated in their age group. Interestingly, this rejection gave them a free space in which to develop their uniqueness. Parallel to the portraits of the girls I take photographs with a focus on nature, wild animals and the concept of distance and closeness. I then work on combining these single images to final pairs. The references between the pictures inspire the viewer to link the content of what he has seen. Ute Behrend

www.utebehrend.de

Bear & Fireworks from the series Bear Girls by Ute Behrend
Superman & Stork from the series Bear Girls by Ute Behrend
Footprints and Paw prints & Little plastic hand from the series Bear Girls by Ute Behrend
Homage to Mere Oppenheim & poisonous mushrooms from the series Bear Girls by Ute Behrend
Lina & Autumn scrub from the series Bear Girls by Ute Behrend
Bear Girl in forest & Bear Girl in bedroom from the series Bear Girls by Ute Behrend
Indian shadow & Hair on red carpet from the series Bear Girls by Ute Behrend
Marlene & Wolves from the series Bear Girls by Ute Behrend
Seawater & Amalia from the series Bear Girls by Ute Behrend
Fire & Hunters vest from the series Bear Girls by Ute Behrend
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