/14 Portraits

Julia Cybularz

Breaking the Girl

Breaking the Girl, visually investigates the emotional and physical connections people have to their bodies and minds during times when their bodies fail them. The images explore the physical manifestations of anxiety, hope and the pervasive sentiment that the subjects are inhabiting a space not quite their own. I seek to examine the alienation and disconnect that occurs when the subject is affected by physical and psychological constrictions. The photographs consider the nuances of everyday encounters, which often get overlooked.

Hannah, of Breaking the Girl, is a 12-year-old who has a severe curvature of her spine. She has been repeatedly, and painfully fitted with, and worn numerous braces since she was nine. Our gaze is directed at a young girl about to embark on the physical changes that coincide with puberty while facing the confines of a corseted brace worn twenty-three hours a day which restricts the natural urge of the body to expand.

The photographs evolve from our ongoing collaborative efforts.