Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Central New York, Things to do

The Purpose of the “Look Now: Facing Breast Cancer” Exhibit

Flyer for Look Now: Facing Breast Cancer. (c) Matt Dzenawager

Listen here to find out the purpose behind the Look Now: Facing Breast Cancer which is being held next Thursday. Tula Goenka holds the exhibit to help people fully understand the behind the scenes battle for Breast Cancer Survivors.

Audio transcript: Look Now: Facing Breast Cancer

By Matt Dzenawager SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Next Thursday, October 11th, the “Look Now: Facing Breast Cancer” exhibit is being held at the Point of Contact Gallery. The Gallery is located on West Fayette St. in downtown Syracuse. 

Project Director and Breast Cancer survivor Tula Goenka tries to break down the barrier between the Public Persona of breast cancer and the uphill battle survivors face.

Goenka plans to use photos showing a picture of a breast cancer survivor or someone fighting the disease with their clothes on, then a picture of their bare chest.

“If you look at me, you can’t tell that I’m a breast cancer survivor or what I’ve been through, anything like that,” Goenka said. “And there is a lot of emphasis on getting diagnosed with breast cancer, but then what happens afterwards.”

What happens after a breast cancer diagnosis is what Goenka gears the exhibit towards. She believes this is an issue that does not receive enough attention, the “battle scars” she calls them.

“When people walk into the gallery they can see people that have decided to go completely flat, or lose only one breast, or have had reconstruction, they’re many different kinds of reconstruction, so that’s what were really trying to talk about the private side of breast cancer.”

She talked about her beginnings at Newhouse in 2009 when Hugh Hefner, the publisher of Playboy, was coming to campus. She was asked by many if she was going to protest, but she decided not to.

This got her to think about if Playboy would ever put somebody on a centerfold who has had breast cancer surgery.

“You know for a fact that nearly every Playboy centerfold person has had implants and done implants to make their boobs better, uh bigger, and better I guess,” Goenka said. “But, I’ve had implants, right. Would they put me on in a centerfold?”

That is exactly how this project came about. Her main message throughout the program is how female bodies are framed by society. She questions what is considered sexy or feminine: “Just because you lose your breast to a disease does that make you less of a woman,” she said.

On top of the photos, Goenka, a Television Radio and Film professor at Syracuse University, is making a documentary for the exhibit which will include interviews from breast cancer survivors.

 

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