In a newly released photo series titled, Fellas Fall, Liberia-based digital artist Meskora Amoussou highlights the existing vulnerabilities of men that the world tries to suppress.
With the gender roles imposed on men and women from birth, especially in African societies, not much room is allowed for men to live and act outside of those roles and expectations. In addition, in these societies, men and boys are expected to act macho and show little emotions, which has led many boys to grow up out of touch with their own emotions that have been ingrained into them as weaknesses. “Boys don’t cry”, they are told.
Through the Artist’s Lens
Using her own words, Amoussou explains the concept behind Fellas Fall;
“I was thinking about men. They’ve been controlled on how to feel from the moment the doctor says, “it’s a boy!”.”
She continued; “Growing up as a male is very different from growing up as a female. If a girl and a boy fall while playing and start to cry, the girl would be comforted, but the pekin (boy) will be told to wake up from the ground and move along.”
She concluded; “This has caused boys to create a wall between themselves, their emotions, and their feelings, which has left them with the mindset that they should not breakdown no matter what it is they feel.”
Policing of Men and Women
At the center of many conversations on body politics in Liberia, great focus is often placed on the policing of women’s lives and bodies, while the policing of men’s emotions is often a stone left unturned. Accordingly, the Fellas Fall photo series breaks that mold and tells the story of the multiple walls that exists between men and their emotions as it pertains to themselves, their relationships with other men, and that with women.
While we await the release of the full series in an upcoming photo exhibition by the digital artist, we can’t help but be filled with awe by the raw and vulnerable nature of the men depicted in the series. Continue below for a glimpse into the photo series, until the full story is told live in the upcoming exhibition.