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And she flies…

A photographic essay documenting one woman’s explorations into experiences of freedom and sovereignty in the midst of global chaos, 2021-2022.

An auto-ethnographic study by Shari Read PhD.

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And she flies…

Taken within the context of its contemporary cultural and historical scene, this project is both an auto-ethnographic commentary and a phenomenological analysis of one woman’s journey of spiritual liberation. This project seeks to explore and uncover the lived body’s experience of learning to let go of of conditioned beliefs about the self and the process of coming into radical self-acceptance and self-love.

For Shari, discovering nudism/naturism provided the means for a spiritual and phenomenological breakthrough, and self-portraits became a liberatory tool: by bringing awareness to the ways that patriarchal structures are used to maintain the sexual distinctions and deprive women of their complete bodies, vulva and labia included.

French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir made the case that this deprivation is oppressive, and in re-contextualizing and taking ownership of the images and their composition, Shari seeks to highlight the ongoing weight of this oppression, more than 70 years on. In an effort to continue Beauvoir’s consciousness-raising critique and validation of women’s experiences of injustice, Dr Shari Read offers an analysis of the lived body, and an ethical and political demonstration of the ways that patriarchy has alienated women from their embodied experience. An appeal that calls on women of all walks, once again, to take up the politics of liberation and sovereignty.