Culture / Art Republik

Living History

Jo Farrell photographs the last few women in China with bound feet

Jun 17, 2014 | By Staff Writer

For the past few years, photographer Jo Farrell has been documenting the lives of the last few women in China with bound feet in her series ‘Living History’. The tradition of bound feet was one that enabled women to find a suitable partner in ancient China. It bore undertones of creating a subservient and submissive woman, traits which were perceived as imperative for a good wife. Though it was banned in 1911, the tradition continued in rural areas until around 1939. In an effort to document such cultural traditions, Farrell, who describes herself as a ‘documentary photographer and cultural anthropologist capturing traditions and cultures before they are completely eradicated’, took photos of the old women who live with bound feet today using traditional black and white film.

To better celebrate the lives of these women, Farrell has begun a kickstarter project to fund the continuation of Living History. On the website she writes ’In the past year alone, three of the women I have been documenting have died and I feel it is now imperative to focus on recording their lives before it is too late.’  

Living History 2

Living History 3

Find out more at Jo Farrell’s website

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