'Under Pressure' is a photo series by Guia Besana which explores women's struggle to be conventionally appropriate whilst also striving for empowerment. The series is set in the present-day context where the expectations of womanhood are complicated and often contradictory. Archaic notions of womanhood are still alive but co-exist alongside modern notions, resulting in women having to strive for confusing ends and contradictory goals.
Besana shot the photos in an old house outside of Paris. The photos depict women laboring under social expectations and archaic norms while reaching out for freedom and salvation. The photographs are staged and look extremely surreal, and effectively convey how the modern female condition is wrought with exhaustion, confusion and neurosis.
The protagonists in the photos range from doting mothers to lethargic military personnel but are all visibly affected and damaged by the expectations placed upon them to be ideal women, whatever that means.