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With a Little Help From my Friends

Leona Strassberg Steiner | United States

Barbara O’Hara

If you could pass on a life lesson to the younger generation of women, what would that be?

The other night I was at a concert, here is this young singer; she’s playing this double bass, this
instrument that has huge presence. She was dressed in the 50s in this very evocative clothing,
and a beautiful woman! But she spent her time dancing around making gyrations, and it was
like she was so active in the pursuit of getting the audience to see her, notice her, give her
attention, love her, it was like, honey, just relax, just play your bass and trust that who you are
is plenty, it’s enough.

“With a Little Help From my Friends” was created as a documentary piece on women who grew up in the 60s and 70s. The subjects shared a sense of the old alternative lifestyle, where beauty was about what's on the inside. At that time, liberation and freedom of the spirit was key, renewing and rejuvenating our soul, our sustenance, and a life of community sharing was essential. Today, in our ever-changing and rocky existence, additional needs have been added to our lives; a good steady job, affordable healthcare, and a safe home to call our own. Some of us are able to accept our age gracefully, with the added few extra pounds, letting our hair grow out and become grey, the lines and wrinkles, creaking knees, and poorer eyesight. All of us are striving to accept the changes that aging brings to our faces and bodies if not with open arms, then with a bit of reluctance, remembering how we once looked when we were younger.

I have been photographing since the early 1990s, working on projects that have been both personal and political. My interests have drawn me to explore issues such as gender roles, the fragility of family relationships, capitalism and its dangers, women's rights, hatred. and the beauty of the human spirit.

For the past few months I have been using video, recording ideas and incorporating movement as a way to integrate my my dance background in my work.

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