Rosie Hartshorn

Throughout my three years of study, I have been very interested in social/cultural issues, mostly to do with feminism in my editorial photography. For my final major project, I have followed on from my most recent work photographing cinematic places where I feel scared to walk alone. For this project, I went out in the dark to photograph uncanny settings to portray my feelings as a woman walking alone, afraid of sexual harassment. I wanted to show that most men are privileged to walk alone without the same fear.

After the devastating murder and kidnap of Sarah Everard that shocked the UK, I felt it was important to raise the issues surrounding public sexual harassment for others to become aware of how common and horrific it can make people feel. In a recent survey ‘71% of women of any age said they had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces’ (Un Women Survey, 2021). I was urged to continue my series but to take portraits of women showing where they felt cautious of walking alone in the dark times of the day, naming the project ‘We Walk Together’. I wanted to raise awareness of how society needs to change as women should be free to walk without, for example, holding keys between their knuckles or texting their friend when they return home safely. For each woman involved (Including Rahama pictured), I have asked her to choose a place where she feels scared to walk alone to be photographed there. I have taken a portrait shot of the female sitter to show the seriousness of the topic to connect to the spectator’s gaze. I have also shot a full body photo with the location in the frame to suggest the sitter has reclaimed the space as her own. I have decided to photograph each woman involved in the daytime to juxtapose the scariness of the night time because as a female photographer I fear being sexually harassed or even followed in the dark.