For women. By women. The photographer disrupting our gaze

 
 
 

Ever press pause during a movie to catch a frame of cinematic beauty? The frozen still isn’t a singular image detached from the film but rather a snapshot of a larger story. Amy Braaf’s photography dissects these very moments. By shooting through the lens of the female gaze, she’s weaving new, nuanced narratives.

Braaf was raised in a family of matriarchal figures, which informs her style. Though she studied Film Production at the University of Cape Town, Braaf refined her photographic skills through self-study. “I was tired of seeing women painted as vapid objects,” she says. “As though there was nothing to them beyond the visible.” Braaf’s images have the colour of vintage film and a nostalgic glow. The fleeting moments that she photographs almost feel like a memory of our own.

Braaf’s imagery rejects this trend of women on screen. A 2018 Forbes report on representation in mainstream media reveals that male characters receive double the screen time of female characters. When women are included, they’re portrayed with unrealistic body proportions or simplified to sexualised objects. Instead, Braaf encapsulates the intricacies of beauty while illuminating the multiplicities of the female form. The painting of women by women is Braaf’s way of ensuring that each individual within the diverse female collective is made visible and represented.

 
Nuraan Shaik