If you’re reading this and identify as a man – do you feel comfortable using lotion that isn’t branded “for men?”, have you ever been told to “man up”? Do you feel as though you can’t show emotion for fear of being considered as a less of a man? Our gender traits are projected onto us from every angle, even down to how we sit.
Over the latter half of this year, I’ve been going through various changes with my work mediums, and I may have been off the grid, but Indiv is one of my core creative homes. Through men’s style I have found unique perspective unlike any other, and have been experimenting with the idea of gender for a while.
In July, I travelled to Bangalore to shoot a 15 minute documentary on Hijras, the unique community that are identified under the Indian Transgender group. You can see the trailer here, although more on my travels next month!
What struck me at the time was the importance of gender, and what it means to be a man. I mean, it’s hard enough being a woman – everyone constantly has an opinion on what you look like, how heavily you apply your make up, or how much weight you’ve put on. The moment you ask to be treated equally, you’re labelled a feminist, which many liken to a bra-burning, hairy arm-pitted creature (I quite like my pit hair). But you know what? We could all go on and on about how we are individually treated, but I wanted to look at being a Male from the outside in, through film.
I’ve picked three men I know – Frisco, member of Boy Better Know, Shakka, who you will have seen on Indiv as Nigel is his Stylist, and Kojey Radical, the Artist from East London (pictured). Through their crafts, these men tell their own narratives – ones that are laced with experiences that I had not really considered before.
Titled MAN, MUSIC, this short doc series will explore the ideas of gender within music and spoken word, and how the men behind the sound really think, all captured through my eyes. Kojey’s artistic fluidity is fascinating to watch. He is free to move in and around typecasting labels – a notion we all battle with everyday. Filming Kojey last weekend in North West London, I took a few stills in between takes. Have a peep, and stay tuned for Man, Music.
Details of Kojey’s Look, styled by himself:
Hat – New Era
Jumper – Libertine-Libertine
Suit – Garderobe
Shoes – adidas