Beach Path Art Exhibit

BURNESHAS OF ALBANIA

JULY 1, 2018 – OCTOBER 31, 2018
Jill Peters – Curated by Unscripted Bal Harbour

In her series Sworn Virgins of Albania, Jill Peters shares powerful portraits of burneshas. Albanian women who have taken a vow of celibacy and chosen to live socially as men, thereby obtaining rights and freedoms that would otherwise be denied to them. Over a period of six years, Peters befriended and repeatedly photographed seven burneshas in their rural villages, creating striking portraits set against a backdrop of idyllic beauty. Though the practice dates back more than five hundred years, there are currently less than thirty known burneshas, as increasing freedom for women is rendering this lifestyle obsolete. While the burneshas’ decisions to adopt this lifestyle likely reflect their individual gender identities and sexualities to varying degrees, they nonetheless raise questions about identity and its relationship to culture and place, inviting us all to reflect on the circumstances under which individuals are able to fully express their authentic selves.