Camille Lenain

Project:

The Waiting

Country:

United States

Website:

"The Waiting" follows the pursuit of female hunters and their intimate relationship to the land, to their harvest and to each other. Shot between Southern France, Louisiana and Mississippi, the women take us on a meditative journey from stillness to the irreversible act of killing. Like the goddess of the hunt, they embody the tension between the protector and the destroyer of non-human nature. From sunrise to sunset, they disappear in bayous, rice fields and duck blinds for hours on end in the quest of their prey. How does hunting change their relationship to nature and violence? The project started in 2019 in rural Louisiana after I discovered some of my female friends were hunting. I used to be afraid of guns, and a couple years after moving to New Orleans, I got held up at gunpoint. Having lived in Louisiana for nearly a decade now, gun shots are part of my life. Whether it’s waking up to the booms of hunters in Acadiana, an old lady talking about her pew-pew, or the sudden shoot outs in the streets, guns are a reality now. They are almost a daily sound. They are in the store 15 minutes away and I could just walk in and buy one today. Why would I? The only reason would be to hunt, and through the women’s perspective, I was able to let go of some of my fear. While hunting does not require a masculine body, huntresses are largely invisible in historical and contemporary depictions. Often, the responsibility and credit for survival has been bestowed upon men, with women relegated to passive roles as gatherers. But in roman mythology, Diana, goddess of the hunt, fertility and the moon, transcended the gendered distinction society has since created. "The Waiting" explores the mystical trails between ancient myths and the 21st century, the relationship between killing and nurturing through the hunting sisterhood that rejects traditional roles and embodies the predator in a society that often views them as prey.