REVIEW OF SUSIE BRIGHT'S SEATTLE LECTURE
FROM THE SHS MAILING LIST
I just returned from Susie Bright's 50 slide presentation of Nothing But the Girl, the Blatant Lesbian Image: A Portfolio & Exploration of Lesbian Erotic Photography at Red & Black Books Collective. It was not only fabulously entertaining but it had a little something in it for everyone.
I have never been interested in erotic writing or photography. I've always been interested in sensual images of women but never associated the two. Even five years ago the only lesbian erotica available seemed to be only those that were so bold as to be "in your face". Usually they were images of S/M, B/D, Fat Dykes With Tattoos etc. I couldn't relate to them. I couldn't find images that represented or related to me personally. I have always been accepting of the many facets of our community but finding my own niche was always difficult. I suspect it is difficult for all of us. By the time I understood myself I didn't care to if others were involved or not, i.e. I grew up and became my own person. Never the less the lesbian erotic image never really appealed to me and I happily went on my way collecting post cards of beautiful body parts and images of women.
Tonight things appeared to be changing. Susie Bright has taken a bold step in lesbian erotica that doesn't just have what we use to term extreme images but rather lesbian images. What I favored a great deal was the focus on women of color. I've always appreciated diversity in my dating patterns and this collection was filled with many different cross sections of our community. I am a white woman who grew up in a culturally diverse area of Brooklyn NY. Finally there was more too it than plain old white women with their legs spread geared toward straight white men!
Susie was delightfully entertaining as well as very knowledgeable about the history of the lesbian movement. She was also quite articulate in describing the photographers and their work as well as when it appeared in which publications. She was one of the original (I think) editors of "On Our Backs" and several of the books images appeared in the magazine over the years.
Susies commentaries gave me different mental images of the photographs themselves. Allowing her to lead me by the mind into the photograph brought depth to each picture. In addition to drawing on my own experiences in life she offered me another experience and in that the photographs took on different meaning. I am happy for the mind expansion and all the better for it.
Her book sells for about $30.00 and includes over 200 images in cleverly associated sections. I highly recommend it! If she ever comes your neighborhood you must go and listen to her share her life.
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