Do you remember putting on your mother’s dresses and lipstick when you were little?
In this project, young women were asked to once again play dress-up. We asked them to try on clothing and jewelry that belonged to their mothers and grandmothers, a hands-on experiment so they could feel, for a little while at least, what it was like to live like the generations that came before them. The young women spent time together with their mothers and grandmothers choosing the dresses. One wore her mother’s wedding dress, sewn 40 years ago. Another selected the only dress that has survived to this day: a favorite lucky dress that had been carefully kept over the years. As the younger women physically cloaked themselves in the clothes that defined the styles of their mothers and grandmothers, the older women discussed how views toward women have changed in Azerbaijan over the past decades.
Lidiya Katrakhova: “I am 72 years old and I am a piano teacher. For me, attitudes toward women have changed for the worse. Before a woman was something really precious, but now no one pays attention to her. All this new feminist stuff. People do not believe in themselves and are so fragile now. For example, I am disabled, I lost my leg in a car accident before I was married, but my boyfriend still married me and I have had a happy life.” Lidiya noted that today such stories are rare because young people seem to give up more easily.
Aida Aliyeva: “I am 54 and I am a programmer. I remember when women wearing trousers was something extraordinary and they were judged for it. A woman could not progress in her career due to her gender. Now it is much easier, now women are more self-realized. Nobody, except a woman herself, can stop her by saying ‘Hey, remember, you are a woman, you can’t do this or that!’”