Monday, 7 April 2014

Ghost Photographs


tw: child abuse, rape



"Like if you grew up in our neighbourhood the idea was you weren’t supposed to show any vulnerability, the one place that you were permitted to show vulnerability was in a women’s bed. Which, you know, lead to all sorts of behavior, The other thing was that a lot of the guys I grew up with,there had been a lot of sexual abuse, there had been a lot of incest, I mean, you know, a lot of the guys had gotten raped, usually by family members and a lot of the, kind of, compulsive fucking around, I think, was powered in part, not only by masculine privilege in a culture that doesn’t punish guys if they fuck around, but was also powered by these, kind of deep traumas. I mean one of the reactions of being raped or being, you know, sexually assaulted is hyper sexualization. And you think about the way masculine culture works that encourages hyper sexualization, it’s no accident that a lot of guys who had been sexually attacked, who had been raped, you know, who are incest survivors would, sort of, deploy that as a way of compensating, as a way of dealing, as a way of, sort of, trying to contain the pain. So, I guess, for me that also was one of the big things, you know. A lot of the cheating that went on in my friends groups, we victimized so many people because of it, you know, and I think that simultaneous to any traumas that we experienced the truth is we also victimized a ton of people. You know? You have got to be able to hold both simultaneous, you can’t be like, “Oh boo-hoo-hoo me.” Because you know it sucks, but a lot of us who had been victimized spread that misery out really far man. So, you know, it’s funny because I have written three books and in each book Yunior comes to revealing that he was raped but never comes out and says it. And it’s, sort of, like the way boys, the difficulty boys have in integrating that into their identity, especially a guy like Yunior who doesn’t want to abandon, sort of, this kind of classic masculinity that has given him so much privilege. You know? You come close and close but you don’t… I am thinking maybe by the next book I will be able to have him deal with it."
-Junot Diaz, Facing Race 2012 



Ghost photos by Angela Deane

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