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57/365. At Cafe Aromi in Hyde Square, Jamaica Plain, Mass. (25 May 2015)

57/365. At Cafe Aromi in Hyde Square, Jamaica Plain, Mass. (25 May 2015)

Today I’m sixty days into my #365feministselfie project, wherein I post one selfie per day for an entire year. I started the project on a whim the day after my birthday and it’s kind of grown organically from there into something that has been unexpectedly moving for me to participate in. I’m not someone who is particularly averse to having my own image captured and displayed publicly (as my blog header and digital avatars attest) but even for me there is something joyfully normalizing about having a visual record of self that documents life in situ on a daily basis.

As a historian and archivist who works with personal papers, this ritual of the daily selfie reminds me of the many line-a-day diaries the Massachusetts Historical Society holds in their manuscript collections: the snippets of daily life that, over the course of a year or years document change over time. Through some powerful alchemy of time, the mundane is transformed into something that holds power not only for the creator but for those who witness the act — in the moment of creation as well as decades or centuries later.

I’ve had multiple friends and followers tell me on Facebook and Twitter how much they love the daily photos — some of them have even been motivated to embark upon their own 365 challenge or to consider doing so. For some people, particularly women in our culture, considering the possibility of 365 selfies may be all they are able to do (for now). But I count even those moments as victories, if I can make the prospect of putting ourselves out into the world unpolished something that falls with the realm of the possible.

Looking forward to the next 305 days! Follow along @feministlib, on Facebook, or catch see the project as a whole at the #365feministselfie album.

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