Living History: Bound Feet Women of ChinaVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Asia Society History Series
Foot binding — the practice of applying tight binding to the feet of young girls to prevent further growth — was a Chinese custom historically associated with the wealthy. Beginning in the Song Dynasty and banned in 1911, the practice continued in rural areas until circa 1949, when women were forced to remove the bindings on their “lotus feet” by governmental decree.
In Living History: Bound Feet Women of China, photographer and cultural anthropologist Jo Farrell discovered that foot binding transcended different classes. During the past 13 years, she has interviewed more than 50 women with bound feet, documenting them with black and white film. Despite being considered somewhat barbaric, it was a tradition that enabled women to find a suitable partner and allowed the women a better future. Ms. Farrell will talk about how women across the globe alter the way they look to fit in, to be more attainable or accepted in their own society. This presentation coincides with her first exhibition of the history of women with bound feet, alongside photographs and interviews, at the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences in March.
Jo Farrell is an award-winning documentary photographer and cultural anthropologist capturing women’s traditions and cultures before they are completely eradicated. Her book, Living History: Bound Feet Women of China, documents and celebrates the lives of the last remaining women in China with bound feet. Ms. Farrell's project has been showcased on BBC, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, The Guardian, SCMP, Vanity Fair, and many more. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including a Jacob Riics, Center for Fine Art Photography, Women in Photography and Black & White Spider Awards.
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