The Wonderful World of Women in Slacks / Hyperallergic

From Jill Peters’ photo series “Sworn Virgins of Albania” via PetaPixel

From Jill Peters’ photo series “Sworn Virgins of Albania” via PetaPixel

CHICAGO — Jill Peters’ photo series Sworn Virgins of Albania went viral last week. For the fascinating and honest portrayal of women who live their lives as men, the artist visited the mountain villages of northern Albania where she shot burneshas, or “women who have lived their lives as men for reasons related to their culture and society.” They are sworn virgins and must remain celibate or chaste for life; this is part of the oath they take to gain access to privileges normally accorded only to men. The photography project does not go into the individual lives of the burneshas, instead focusing on their masculine appearances, roles, and privileges. Curiously, this tradition looks similar though differs culturally from thehosenrolle, or women dressing as men and playing male roles in Weimar German cinema. In this post I will explore the imagery of such roles without drawing any cross-cultural conclusions. The Albanian countryside is no place for a hosenrolle, and burneshas certainly would appear out of place in German film — but women in slacks are certainly a delight to see, regardless of location or cultural context.

Read the full story on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/81038/the-wonderful-world-of-women-in-slacks/