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November 17, 2022 – January 8, 2023
In 2018, in response to the rise of a racist, sexist, xenophobic predator to the highest office in the land, the long history of silencing of womxn and girls, and in an effort to help propel the #metoo movement forward, I began making portraits of womxn screaming. Through this intersectional feminist social practice project, womxn have the opportunity to take up space and have their voices heard.
The process is important. I invite groups of womxn who don’t know one another to gather together, effectively expanding our community while providing support for one another as we bravely let out feelings that have been silenced or dismissed under the white supremacist patriarchy. I purposefully invite womxn who range in age, race, ethnicity, and ability in an effort to bridge divides and allow for a truly intersectional feminist space that encourages empathy. The sessions include 5-25 womxn and last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. They are empowering, therapeutic, and fun.
There is a broad range of reasons why womxn engage with OUTCRY. Many participate to let out anger and frustration with the political climate and their experience living as womxn in a sexist, racist, ableist, and homophobic society. Others come to practice speaking up and out for themselves or to expand their community and connect with womxn in a brave and safe space. Many participants share personal stories about sexual harassment, sexual assault, silencing, and experiences with omnipresent microaggressions. The participants are never required to share their reasons for participating and always have the choice to scream alone or with the group’s support.
I began this project on the night of the Women’s March in 2018. Since then, I have photographed over 400 womxn letting it all out. Together these intimate representations of our power and expression become a monumental act of collective resistance. With Roe recently overturned and womxn’s rights stripped away by SCOTUS, OUTCRY has taken on new meaning and is now more critical than ever.
Whitney Bradshaw (American, b. 1969) is an artist, activist, educator, mother, and former curator and social worker whose practice seeks to empower her subjects while challenging the social systems that marginalize and oppress them. Her photographs have been widely exhibited including solo shows at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives, Villanova University Gallery in Philly, The Moreau Galleries of Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame IN, the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, the Tarble Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University, the Show Gallery in St. Paul Minnesota, McCormick Gallery Chicago, and Wave Pool Contemporary Art Fulfillment Center in Cincinnati. Her work has been juried into some remarkable group shows, including Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow 2022, Director’s Choice PhotoSchweiz 2021, Female in Focus, 2020 at the Center for Fine Art Photography, Dock6 Design + Art 13 and 14 2020 +2022, Well Behaved Women at the Lubeznik Center for the Arts 2020, and In a Time of Change 2021 at the Colorado Photographic Art Center. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the DePaul Art Museum, Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern School of Law, and the Sara M. and Michelle Vance Waddell collection in Cincinnati. Her photographs have been published or reviewed in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, Time Out New York, Vogue, Float Photo Magazine, and Esthetic Lens Magazine to name a few. WTTW Chicago Tonight ran a piece on Bradshaw’s social practice project, OUTCRY, in 2018 and again in 2021. Bradshaw is currently an Artist-in-Residence with the CPS RE:ALIZE program. She was the chair of the visual art conservatory at the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts) for ten years, and an adjunct professor at Columbia College Chicago for 13 while working as a curator for the renowned LaSalle Bank Photography Collection and later the Bank of America Collection. More of her work can be found on her website whitneybradshaw.com.
- Curated by Whitney Bradshaw