Film Still #1 from ‘PHASE’ by SAMANIA (2016).
Artist/Scholar duo SAMANIA (Samira Mahboub + Ania Catherine) release PHASE: A response to those who tellqueer women “It’s just a phase.” SAMANIA, based on their experience as a couple and hearing comments such as “I don’t get it, I’m just worried about you, It’s just a phase,“ decided to call-out the less visible and seemingly innocent discourses around romantic love between women. PHASE has two prongs: a SAMANIA film strikingly shot/edited by LA-based creative Delaram Pourabdi and a poem by Ania Catherine.
Film still #2 from ‘PHASE’
“It’s just a phase.” Find a woman who hasn’t heard these words regarding her attraction to or relationship with another woman. PHASE is a response. There has been a recent and drastic increase in the visibility of female-female relationships throughout media. However, subtle and implicit forms of delegitimation and ridiculization of relationships between women are omnipresent. As French intellectual Michel Foucault has written, power’s “success is proportional to its ability to hide its own mechanisms”; PHASE highlights the less visible (and therefore underestimated) yet still powerful forms of heterosexism. Increased media presence should not be conflated with sexual equality. The social acceptability of such comments needs to be challenged, as these subtle forms of discrimination could be easily eliminated were people made more aware of their harm.
Film still #3 from ‘PHASE’
Who is SAMANIA?
SAMANIA is an artist/scholar duo composed of Samira Mahboub and Ania Catherine. Samira (Germany) and Ania (USA) met in 2013 while pursuing master’s degrees at the London School of Economics Gender Institute. In 2014, they collaborated on their first film, cloth, which was featured in the International Museum of Women’s exhibition “Imagining Equality” and in the Huffington Post’s “5 Amazing Ways Women and Girls are Breaking Gender Stereotypes Worldwide”. Together they combine their creative work (performance, fashion, art) and academic interests (gender, coloniality, sexuality) to translate sociopolitical subjects into a digestible visual form. In addition, Samira works in New York as a model represented by Wilhelmina, and Ania in Los Angeles as an artist and choreographer.