The Sistaaz Hood
During discussions and negotiations, it also became clear which advocacy aspects the group members wanted to bring forward. Taking cue from their joint issues, they developed a series of works, which would guard their legal identities, acknowledge their work as sex workers and express their lived identities. At the same time, these works acknowledge the vulnerabilities of this junction. The photographs were pointedly taken from a high vantage point with the participants lying down - emulating the client and sex worker dynamic in a subtle way. Hamblin added conceptual elements and advocacy to the work by invoking the gendered aspect of the SA identity number into the mounts of the framed works.
“The process of negotiation between the participants and myself came to be focused on their desire to express their own femininity. They drew my attention to the fact that they wanted this project to be about beauty, while it should be reflective of their identity as sex workers. From the start, they drew my attention to the fact that I cannot assume a transparent position behind my camera as I was already implicated, both as a client and a spectator.”
This process with The Sistaaz Hood support group resulted in a painterly photographic series, with clean and bold white backgrounds and fragile intimate figures. The compelling body of work was nominated for a Kanna Award in 2012.