Cig Harvey Featured in Vice's Woman Seeing Woman

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These Haunting Photos Were Inspired by a Near-Death Experience

By Elyssa Goodman

When a car crash left her unable to speak, Cig Harvey used photography to examine life's miracles and misfortunes.

Women are overlooked far too often in photography. How can we continue to combat this erasure? My answer is this column, “Woman Seeing Woman.” While it’s just the start of solving this problem, I, a female writer and photographer, hope to celebrate the astoundingly powerful female voices we have in photography by offering a glimpse into their work.

It's been well documented that a brush with death can reframe a person's relationship with life. When a car crash left photographer Cig Harvey unable to speak for several weeks, she turned to her art to make sense of life and the human experience. Harvey's most recent book, You an Orchestra You a Bomb, recalls in sprightly color and inky darkness the shortness of our time on earth. Through photographs and text, the book both celebrates and mourns the fleeting nature of existence. "Underneath thin skin, amongst saliva, organs, and bone, we are orchestras,” Harvey writes. "But open our mouths, deep down between tears, nerves, and gristle, we are bombs."

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