The amazing Girl Gang Manchester opens a photography and art exhibition documenting the month long social experiment and online community built one year ago via their campaign and art project #SeeMySelfie.
The project comprised of 31 daily provocations aimed at exploring the contentious nature of 'the selfie' as a vehicle for female self-representation. The exhibition, curated from thousands of photographs shared between over 200 women who took part, will combine photograph, original art work, creative captioning, interactive elements, and written work to bring the incredible online presence built around the project into the real world.
The project was a collaboration between Girl Gang Manchester and Sheffield, who wanted to explore the area of selfies in a fun and interactive way to create a conversation about this still somewhat controversial topic. Despite the fact that the average 16-25 year old woman spends more than five hours a week taking selfies, the question of whether this is an empowering act of self love or simply narcissism remains complex and conflicting. The project allowed women, and the occasional man, to weigh in on the debate in a totally judgement-free space. The daily provocations ranged from ‘something you’re insecure about’ to ‘be your own art!’ Each project was personal, unique and brought something new to the table.
Image by Jodie Thackary
Kicking off with a *free* launch night on the 16th, the exhibition encourages people to come along and add their own voices to this project. Girl Gang Manchester will also be launching their first ever zine, responding to the theme of ‘self’ involving artists and writers from all walks of life throughout the Greater Manchester area. The Wonder Inn provides a relaxed, creative environment to enjoy a drink or two amongst the art and discussions.
Image by Jodie Thackary
Girl Gang Manchester will also run several special events within the two-week long exhibition. The 17th May will see the return of Girl Gang’s original Speed Mate-ing night. A ‘Tinder for friends in real life.’ Girl Gang Manchester takes elements from bad business meetings, teenage sleepovers, dating shows, art attack and agony aunts to create a positive environment where new friendships foster. Having enjoyed two successful outings so far, one at the launch of Manchester feminist event Ladyfest in October 2016 (which was amazing, by the way) and another at Manchester feminist festival Wonder Women in March 2017, the event is quickly garnering a reputation for it’s quirky original premise and inclusive atmosphere as an event where fun is had and friendships are warmly fostered.
“I found something I’d not expected. A sense of belonging. Girl Gang seems to be a place that friendship is fostered. As an adult I often wonder how we are expected, outside of work, to meet people you have something in common with. What I found was a group I have a lot of shared values with… I didn’t see anyone who wasn’t having a cracker of a night. Thank you to Girl Gang for impeccable organisation and an awesome Saturday night. I really can’t wait to see what Girl Gang have got up their sleeves for their next event.” Lipstick at Weekends
If you've not come across the Girl Gang before, the Manchester arm was founded by Megan Marie Griffith of Pull Your Finger Out Productions and Girl Gang Sheffield in association with Ellie Ragdale of Handmade Cinema in January 2016. Girl Gang Manchester launched via the sharing of a ten point manifesto of values and intent for the movement. I strongly encourage you to read this! It includes mantras such as “To celebrate the accomplishments of others, someone else's successes are not your failures!” the full manifesto can be found online. Note that Girl Gang Manchester are currently completely unfunded and could not exist without the voluntary efforts of numerous wonderful women, so when you attend any of the events below or others, be sure to pick up a zine, as well as one for your friend!
See My Selfie Exhibition
Venue: The Wonder Inn, 29 Shudehill, Manchester, M4 2AF
Dates and times: 16th May – 30th May, open daily 11am-12pm
See My Selfie Exhibition and Zine Launch Event
Dates and times: Tuesday 16th May, 7pm- Midnight
Price: Free / £2 for a zine
Join the Girl Gang! Website: wearegirlgang.co.uk / Facebook: / girlgangmcr / Instagram: @GirlGangMcr / Twitter: @GirlGangMcr