BLACK VOICES
08/05/2015 05:11 pm ET

15 Harrowing Photos Show The Weight Of Discrimination

"I'm tired of being the angry black woman."
Ming Au: 'The "I'm Tired" Project

Facing discrimination every day is a tiring, never-ending battle that all too often goes unnoticed. 

Two photographers are shedding light on these prejudices in a new project.  
Created by Paula Akpan and Harriet Evans, the "I'm Tired" project highlights the negative impacts that result from different stereotypes. The photos feature people of all ethnicities and genders with a phrase written on their backs. Each phrase reflects an assumption or stereotype that they're "tired" of hearing. 
 

"I'm tired of being the angry black woman."

"I'm tired of being told I'm too skinny for a guy." 

"I'm tired of men thinking they have the right to catcall me." 

The series deals with stereotypes of different identities including race, gender, sexuality and body image.

Ming Au/The "I'm Tired" Project

"Growing up, in a mostly Caucasian area, I had not [realized] until I was much older that the image of a black boy or man is often one of anger or aggression."  

"When we are able to relate to a picture on a deeply personal level, it brings about almost a feeling of camaraderie because there is someone out there who understands exactly how you feel and has been able to articulate in a way that hopefully informs many others," co-creator of the project Paula Akpan told The Huffington Post.   

After photographing each participant, Akpan and Evans asked them to explain their feelings in more detail in a written paragraph below their image.  

Evans told HuffPost that they chose to write each "I'm tired" sentiment on the participants' backs because it "means that it could be anyone saying it. Your postman, your best friend, or a complete stranger."
 
"What is important to both Paula and myself is that someone is able to look at at least one of the pictures and either say 'someone else is going through this too, it's not just me, I am not alone,'" Evans said. "Or for them to have their minds opened to the discrimination that they may not normally bear witness to, or may not have considered in the past."
 

Scroll below to see the Akpan's and Evans' riveting images. 

  • <em><span style="color: #141823;">"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.
    Ming Au/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "The 'ideal body' is an elusive thing."
  • <em>"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.1438799136./433648706822509/?t
    Ming Au/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "The reasons for my rage and my anger should not be pushed aside and belittled simply because of the color of my skin."
  • <em><span style="color: #141823;">"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.
    Ming Au/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "Time and time again, young girls and women are told that they can’t -- the reason? Simply that they are not the ‘right’ gender." 
  • <em>"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.1438799136./429257230594990/?t
    Ming Au/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "The tendency of some to reduce my achievements to a mere by-product of my race undermines the level of sacrifice that I, and others around me, have invested into my upbringing."
  • <em><span style="color: #141823;">"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.
    Ming Au/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "It helps me to feel like my body is mine, and I feel beautiful this way. Yet I am constantly told that I shouldn't."
  • <em><span style="color: #141823;">"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.
    Ming Au/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "My skin color and my race represent who I am and where I come from, but shouldn't dictate how people treat me."
  • <em>"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.1438799136./424829001037813/?t
    Ming Au/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "Fixating on the notion that to be gay, you must have at some point ‘turned’ from being straight is nonsensical and society’s obsession with forcing people into neatly labelled boxes is unproductive."
  • <em>"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.1438799136./429131257274254/?t
    Ming Au/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "I quite simply wish to suggest that nobody, male or female, should be judged on their body."
  • <em>"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.1438799136./418043975049649/?t
    Harriet Evans/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "As if it was that simple, as if I didn’t try." 
  • <em>"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.1438799136./425598214294225/?t
    Harriet Evans/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "Unfortunately, personal experience and mainstream media portrayal still suggests that despite palpable progressive steps in society, the sporting world is lagging behind and proving a stubborn area of contention to overcome, especially at universities." 
  • <em>"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.1438799136./428298177357562/?t
    Harriet Evans/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "Even the definition of poverty has been changed to imply it is caused solely by poor choices, not structural reasons." 
  • <em>"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.1438799136./437102153143831/?t
    Ming Au/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "The real problem at heart is that ultimately, sexual comments from males to females more often than not are felt with a level of physical threat, being that at any given moment, a man (generally speaking) can choose to exert his physical power over a woman."
  • <em><span style="color: #141823;">"<a href="https://www.facebook.com/theimtiredproject/photos/pb.416159438571436.-2207520000.
    Ming Au/The "I'm Tired" Project
    "It's almost as if relationships and marriage are still what women should 'focus' on, and that anything else will inevitably be 'difficult.'"
If you're interested in getting involved with or being featured in the "I'm Tired" project email the creators at theimtiredproject@gmail.com or check out the project's FacebookTwitter and Tumblr pages.  
 
H/T Mic
 
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