Burdens of a White Dress

  • Photographer
    Jen Kiaba
  • Prize
    Honorable Mention
  • Company/Studio
    Jen Kiaba Photography
  • Date of Photograph
  • Technical Info
    Archival Pigment Prints

My work is about the loss of feminine agency that occurred in my youth, growing up in a fringe religious environment, and its resulting internal landscape. Being born and raised in the infamous Unification Church had a lasting effect on my psyche and sense of identity, and it is through writing and photography that I work through these effects. Growing up in my insular community of religious fanaticism and charismatic, dangerous self-styled messiahs I was intimately familiar with precise, though backwards, logic. My journey into adulthood saw me plunging headfirst towards confronting those dangerous, faulty forms and proofs, unraveling the colorful spectacles of my childhood until only a tired and tattered man-behind-the-curtain remained. My photographs are about those transitions and discoveries. They chronicle moments of fear, of awakening and oftentimes utilize characters to confront spectators, daring them to follow down the rabbit hole.

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