“Wearing the Inside Out” is a contemplative investigation of my ambivalence towards motherhood and how it challenges my sense of self as a woman and an adult. There are women who yearn for children, there are women who don’t, and there is I who cannot decide. I began working on “Wearing the Inside Out” in 2020 when my close friend Azi became pregnant with her second child. I was coming out of a depression and slowly rearticulating to myself the kind of life I wanted to lead. At the time, I was also living with my friend, her husband, their young daughter, the nanny, and their dog. This proximity confronted me with the different choices we were making and made it difficult not to grapple with whether I’d like to start a family myself. I began to document her pregnancy and the minutiae of the life we shared as a way to untangle and confront the ambivalence I sit in. It was an effort to face the inadequacy I feel as a woman heading into her mid-thirties unmarried and without children. As much as I enjoy my freedom I am also afraid something important is passing me by. What began as a straightforward documentation of my friend’s second pregnancy evolved into a reflection on the bond between my friend Azi and I and the different ways we think of and navigate womanhood: she as a state of being, me as a project and something to construct. I have approached motherhood as something that ultimately I can choose but the reality is that I come from cultures in which it is a given that a woman should want to have a child and that she will. When the news broke out that Roe v. Wade had been overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court I realized that defining what I want or do not want to do with my body is not a futile exercise nor idle navel gazing. Beyond attempting to get clarity on whether I want children this project matters because it is an active exercise and expression of the primordial autonomy I have over my body.
Hady Barry is a visual artist whose practice involves photography and sound. She was born in Guinea and grew up in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. Her work engages with the weight of memory, the need for connection, and the construction of identity. Her approach is contemplative and introspective. It is anchored in a reverence for the minutiae of life. Hady’s work has been written about by the British Journal of Photography, exhibited by the National Portrait Gallery in the U.K., and will be showcased in the U.A.E by the Sharjah Art Foundation. She lives and works between Leesburg (Virginia, USA) and Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) and is a proud member of African Women in Photography, Diversify Photo’s Up Next, and Native Agency. Hady holds degrees from Georgetown University (B.S. in Economics with a Certificate in African Studies.) and UC Berkeley-Haas (M.B.A.).