Girlhood Photo Series Builds Cross-Cultural Bond


Two artists from opposite corners of the world have come together through a photography project, despite not speaking the same language. British photographer Francesca Allen met Japanese musician Aya Yanase (Aya Gloomy) in Tokyo. After just a few hours together, Allen decided to return for a full month the following year and spend the time documenting Aya’s life, exploring the notion of girlhood as “an allegorical state of mind.” They spent a lot of time in silence or communicating through body language and laughter as a result of their language barriers. The book, titled Aya, launches on September 4 in London and is a prime example of how female community extends beyond verbal understanding or even similar artistic disciplines. Women around the globe can bond simply through the shared experience of girlhood.



For Further Reading:

Find out more about Francesca Allen’s other projects on the themes of womanhood and femininity on her website:


Discussion Question:

Do you have any friends who live in different countries or who are part of different cultures? How is their friendship different than friendships with those in proximity to you?


Action Item:

Spread positivity and community across the globe by reaching out to strangers through the #ThisStrangerCares campaign:



Read more on Dazed | Image: Francesca Allen