Join the Community!

What’s the Deprived Community?

The project stems from wanting to explore topics of gender and the societal impact on expected behaviours.

The Deprived Community is a network created to provide an outlet for conversations based on gender, identity, individual and collective experiences, social pressures and influences of gender roles. The project invites people to share their stories and express themselves through creative means.

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What is the project exactly?

To start the conversation on gender, Deprived team members have invited family and friends to take part in a interview-based discussions. Now, we would like to invite you to take part too, if you’re comfortable with participating!

Here are questions that I posed during the interviews. I suggest you use them as a foundation for your journey, but if you have a story that relates to gender and doesn’t fit into these questions, I still invite you to share it.

  • How do you experience gender?
  • How do you identify through gender?
  • Do you find that your gender identification helps you comfortably express the ‘real’ you?
  • In your perspective, how is gender defined or categorized? And do you find this classification to be beneficial to society?
  • Do you feel the need to conform or perform to specific gender roles based on your preferred gender identification?
  • Do you feel that people place expected behaviours upon you based on your gender identity?
  • Do you find gender identity to be limiting or beneficial to self-expression?

And now, you may be wondering…

How do you participate?

Projects can be audio, photography, visual art, literature and/or music.

If you have made a project in the past, are inspired to submit a future project, or want to propose an idea to create alongside Deprived team members, follow the steps numbered below.

  1. Fill out the Publication Agreement and Disclaimer form.
  2. Include a statement providing a description of your content and/or proposal.
  3. Send documents (signed publication agreement and statement) along with any visual records of your work to deprivedcommunity@gmail.com

Please note: If submissions are anonymous, please state.

In the meantime, you can join the Deprived Community on Instagram, and VSCO.

Why did the project start?

Since the birth of Deprived Media, the vision of all our projects is to create continuous conversations regarding gender, body and sexuality. Although the topics that are discussed may rotate, each theme is just as important as the next.

Recently, a team member of Deprived believed it was important to turn the discussion to gender.

And so, here we are! How do you do? How are YOU doing? I want to take this time to discuss gender, identity and social pressures on gender roles. I want to take this time to hear your story, and with your permission, I’d like to help you share it.

After years of working at a thrift store, and opening my perspective to feminist thought, I became aware that gender is a concept deeply embedded in society and human interaction. I’ll give you a quick example:

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Many times customers will approach me asking if an item is for a boy or girl/man or woman… for this story, let’s say the item is a plush toy. I’ll respond after a moment that if they like it, then it shouldn’t matter. I’ll notice the confused look on their face, and they’ll ask their question again. This time, I’ll realize that they are looking for one answer, and I didn’t give it to them. So I’ll say it’s for the gender I think they advertised it for (pink? it’s a girl’s toy. Blue? it’s probably designed for a boy). Then they’ll either take the plush toy to the register, or give it to me to put back depending on whether the answer matched their gender identity.

I have encountered many situations where gender has limited an action of a person, or even myself. I find it weird that the social laws/constructions that we assign to gender dictate how we perform, even when it’s okay to bend gender norms.

I want to talk about experiences based on gender, because it impacts how we identify, behave and interact with others. We are also defined by what society tells us is gender, although we can obtain the power to redefine our identities, on our terms. Because we are defined by the gender in which we choose to identify, I want to provide the means to express identity, whether it be through gender or not.

Thus, say hello to the Deprived Community.
Stay Tuned!
Cheers,
Shayla


Top Image: Models in order of appearance: John Forget-Fantasia LaPremiere, Allison Drechsler, Saskia Pateman, Jacqueline Heinrich. Photo take by Shayla Hickerson.
Bottom Image: Shayla Hickerson, Untitled, 2018. Photograph of the first plush soft sculpture in Hickerson’s major studio practice/undergraduate thesis.