On March 8, 2019 join Artolution as we continue to promote gender equality through community art projects around the globe.
Artolution gives a voice to all participants regardless of age, gender, sexuality, politics, or circumstance. We aim to create a global community through shared storytelling and expressions elicited from our project participants.
Each Artolution project has implementation guidelines to ensure gender equality. Half of all participants and half of the local artist teams are made up of women. Our community-based public art projects, designed to serve as real-life examples of environments in which all participants respect one another and have equal power and an equal voice. We have used public art as a tool to address problems of gender inequality and subsequent gender-based violence in communities around the world. We recognize the value of women’s voices and the transformation they bring as agents of change within their communities, their countries and our world when women are given the opportunities to exist with equality and activate their inner strength. Artolution also welcomes and encourages LGBTIQA+ participants and artists with the same respect and value within this framework for gender equality.
Artolution’s International Women’s Day Campaign
Around the world, women, girls, and LGBTIQA+ youth and adults face gender-based violence, harassment, human trafficking, and earn significantly less wages in the workplace, if allowed to work at all. This International Women's Day, Artolution is proud to formally announce the launch of our gender equality campaign that will help impact and empower women in diverse populations across the globe through our community art projects. Your donation will directly fund our projects, bringing awareness to issues surrounding gender-equality and empowering women in their communities. Please read on to find out more about recent projects that demonstrate impact of women’s empowerment through Artolution programs.
To support gender equality around the world, simply donate today by clicking the button below.
How Artolution Empowers Women and LGBTIQA+ Youth
Our Rohingya artist team is made up of six men and six women. For the first time in their history, women are allowed to paint and express their stories through creative initiatives. Our female artists are leaders in their communities and provide opportunities for other Rohingya women to paint, create art, and disseminate key public health messages to their families and their communities. Recently, we worked with UNICEF Model Mothers, who developed a mural of a female doctor serving the Rohingya children so that refugees know to seek a doctor’s help when they or someone in their home is ill to prevent the spread of disease in the camp.
New York City
Last spring, we met Laverne, a transgender youth participant, when we created The NYC Youth Resilience Mural alongside youth from Harvey Milk High School and the Manhattan School for Career Development. Laverne shared, “My dream is to have the body that represents my gender, so I drew a naked woman. My dream is to sort of be seen for who I am.” On July, 9, 2018, Laverne and our youth participants shared their inspirational mural and “Birdstrument” to a national audience on CBS This Morning.
In Colombia, it was the female youth who led the creation of art from large scale murals to a cultural exchange with Syrian refugees in Jordan via Skype to spoken word and the creation of a dance performance that told a story about how humanity can heal itself and its environment from violence and conflict. Artolution Artist, Erika Murcia shared with pride the transformations of the female youth, including one student who began the arts workshops by covering her face in shame, but never quitting and growing to “dance as if there was no tomorrow”. Another student, who fled violence in Venezuela with her family, had the opportunity to sing, dance, and share her emotions through art in a space that felt safe for her and her family. And, we met Indigenous youth from the Wiwa community. One female youth, Saray, travelled an hour each day through the jungle to go to school and was an active participant in our projects in Guachaca, painting images to reflect her life and love of the animals that thrived nearby.
In the first two months of 2019, we partnered with Action In Africa and Education Above All to promote and inspire the right to education for young women. In each location, portraiture of strong women, of the unities emerged in large-scale murals, inspired by local women educators, mothers, and elders. At The Center in the Nakuwadde community, we left behind a mural of a woman the represented the traditions of the community’s ancestors, the presence of its women leaders and the children of the future to empower female youth to continue their education so that they may become the future leaders of Uganda. In the Bidibidi Refugee settlement the community developed a large scale mural of a woman carrying a traditional pot to retrieve water for her family, ensuring their survival, despite the distance and harsh terrain she must cross each day. In her wisdom, she has told her children: “Life is full of challenges and therefore always be strong, seek advice if needed, and learn to live with others in peace because life is as fragile and delicate as this pot.”
In Umm El Fahm, Israel women’s empowerment was identified by the youth as their primary motive for participation. The murals were painted on an abandoned series of stores that were being transformed to a community center for women and youth. PhD Lisa Barthelmes, documented the words of one female student during focused group discussions “We want to show women can stand on ladders and work hard, that we can achieve something as the youth of Umm El-Fahm. We are not gonna be silenced even if the mural gets destroyed.” [A concern of the youth.] The youth were further fueled by passerbys who complained that females were standing on ladders and told not to climb as high on the ladders. Another participant expressed, “I didn’t know that I can draw in public, be on a ladder without people hitting me, you didn’t change the whole society but changed something inside of me”. Through this project, youth were able to connect with one another and lift each other up. Another female participant shared, “I made many new friends here – and I did not expect that. I always feel different and not accepted because of how I look and who I am”. PhD Lisa Barthelmes described one outcome of this project: “The creation of a safe space for girls but also people of all genders were another important outcome of the project. The lead artists create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and differences in sexuality, ethnicity, economic status or religious are irrelevant and that spills off the participants” A 15-year old young man who identifies as a bisexual shared: “I made many new friends and I told you in the beginning that I don’t think I will have friends here. At school I am an outsider, but here I felt accepted and welcomed. I want to thank Artolution for this opportunity to connect with others.”