Roman Manfredi

We/Us. Butches and Studs from Working Class Backgrounds Within the British Landscape

“We/Us” is an intergenerational project of photography and oral history that celebrates the undocumented presence of working-class “butches” and “studs” in the British landscape. Using analogue photography as a medium, the project explores the experience of female masculinity through the structures of class and race across the UK, capturing and exploring their diversity as well as their communion.

When searching for images of “butches” and “studs” online, the majority that appear are from past eras or from the United States. Conversations around gender and identity today are often academic and centered in London, sometimes forgetting that our identities are informed by our lived everyday experiences.

The definition of “butch” and “stud” (an African American term used by many young black lesbians who present themselves in a masculine way in the UK) generally refers to a specific and deliberate female masculinity within a lesbian framework.​

Blanca Berlin

Roman Manfredi (London, England.)

Left school at the age of 16, bought a local newspaper, and sought out the most creative job she could find: darkroom assistant at a photography studio. She bought a second-hand camera from a guy at the bar in his Kings Cross neighborhood and took photos of some friends in a nearby mannequin factory. It was there that her first creative outlet was born. Photography seemed to be a creative medium accessible to working-class youth at that time.

After many years navigating male-dominated manual labor environments, she studied fine arts at the Byam Shaw School of Central St Martins and at the Royal College of Art as a mature student, before rediscovering her path in photography in 2018. Using analogue photography as her medium, her work explores concepts of identity through lived everyday experience.

© Photography Jane Taylor.

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