Bear Girls
Project info

Some Place in North America or Canada there is a tribe of indians that dress up their pubescent girls in large bearskins. A little offside the Indian village the girls live together with other girls of the same age, beeing well protected from the glances of grown-ups and boys by wearing the bearskins. They are even advised to move especially dull and clumsy - just as bear would. This well protected atmosphere allows them to mature untroubled and undistubed. They will determine the point in time when they will eventually take off their bearskin all by themselves. From that point on the girls will become part of the community of grown-up indian women. Further more indian girls of that tribe may decide freely wether they want to become a brave. Not many decide to, but time and again some did.

When I recently told a friend of this, she was certain she had heard of this tribe before.

As it happens I made it all up by myself.

About the work
 In my little story the indian girls have the opportunity to develop their own concept of the role of a woman that best suits them, unaffected by the outside world. 
It´s a work about the mind set or mood of girls in the period between childhood and coming of age.
I refer to the ambivalent feelings between the desire to hide and the itch to show oneself off.
The story about an Indian tribe serves me as initial source. The bearskin represents a protective suit.
Parallel to the portraits of the girls I take photographs with a focus on nature, wild animals and the concept of distance and closeness. I then work on combining these single images to final pairs.
Ute Behrend