Below Sea Level; A Photography Project About the Daily Pressure on Women Goes Viral

May 17, 2021
WoEgypt

Below sea level, where pressure increases the deeper you dive, and where women are expected to fulfill an unmeasurable amount of burdensome tasks.

Joy Khoury

Since she discovered her passion in photography at an early age, Joy Khoury’s photographs became her tools to communicate and express herself. The 20-year-old photographer studies architecture at the German University in Cairo. She believes studying architecture helped to develop her talent further and improve her photography skills.

Joy created her project Below Sea Level to show the daily pressure women are exposed to, “in a way that makes each and every woman, a phenomenon in herself.”  Within hours the post’s reach surpassed 800K.

The project is inspired by Joy’s mother, “a woman who mesmerizingly achieved a balanced lifestyle merging between her career as an engineer, her house duties and her very own self,” said Joy. “Every element  I used in creating these compositions belongs to my mom; her wardrobe, her lipstick, her favorite chair, tea cups she bought before she got married.  My mom, a phenomenal woman, is my symbol of power, sacrifice, perseverance and unconditional love.”

The photos are self portrayed, Joy is her own model. “I took pictures of myself. This is me in the pictures. I set my camera on timer and a tripod, it has been a huge challenge for me to try this and I was so worried I won’t be satisfied with the results.”

The project’s great success exceeded Joy’s expectations, “This is huge! I never thought this could actually happen! I feel so proud and far beyond satisfied,” she concluded.


Body image, a criteria, a beauty standard to which women are asked to fit. A pressure.

House duties are highly associated to women, as a common misconception. A pressure.


Menstrual cycle, when women are required to perform daily tasks when in pain. A pressure.

Motherhood, a responsibility, a pressure!

Sexual harassment, a denial of the possession of a woman of her own body. A pressure

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