Tag Archives: art

San Francisco Museum Highlights Women as Agents of Change

photo by Ariko Inaoka now on display at the IMOW

by editorial intern Kimya Kavehkar

It’s important to recognize women who are doing admirable things in the world – especially when they’re taking action that isn’t highly publicized. San Francisco’s International Museum of Women is doing just that with Picturing Power and Potential, a new exhibit showcasing women from around the world who are effecting change. Featuring work from 50 different artists, the large-scale photographs spotlight women who participate in their local economy – in both ordinary and extraordinary ways.

Photographer Anne Hamersky shows us a group of American women called Cultivating Change, who grow plants, fruit, and herbs to make fresh and healthy food available to their families and neighbors. One member of this group is a teenage girl who plants a crop of tomatoes to sell at a nearby farmers’ market.

Another incredible story comes from Gujarat, India. Photographer Ariko Inaoka shows a young girl dressed in the colorful and ornate clothing typical of her lower caste. The beautiful detailing of her outfit juxtaposes the often brutal working life of women in her caste. According to the IMOW website, “More than ninety percent are self-employed, with few labor laws to protect them from exploitation. However, since the early 1970s, the state of Gujarat has set up the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) to protect women from usurious lenders, corrupt police, and an indifferent justice system.”

With 48 more inspirational stories left to read and more stirring photographs to view, it is definitely worth the trip to the museum to check out this free exhibit. And luckily for those of us not in the San Francisco area, the photographs and stories can be seen on the museum’s website.

Indie Girl Shows You How to Kick Off Your Creative Project

By Teen Voices editorial intern Michelle Golden

Ever wanted to start your own band? Create an art exhibit? Form a dance troupe? Or maybe you’ve dreamed about starting your own fashion company. All you need is motivation, creativity, and inspiration – plus possibly a few words of advice from Arne Johnson and Karen Macklin co-authors of the book Indie Girl – and you’ll be well on your way to launching the project of your dreams.

In each chapter of Indie Girl, Johnson and Macklin take girls through what it takes to kick off a creative project. Want to start a band? Well, you’ll need some instruments (unless you’ll be going a capella, of course!), rehearsal space, a microphone, a computer, and performance space (for all those sold-out concerts you’ll be rocking out at). So then you’ll need to learn a few of your favorite songs (over time, you’ll be writing your own), find someone who can create a beat or two on the drums, and you’re already halfway there. So take out those earphones, make your own music, and bump Avril off the Top 40 charts with your new hit single!

Perhaps starting a band and writing your own music isn’t on your to-do list, but you’ve always loved writing song lyrics or poetry. Why not hold a poetry slam, like we do here at Teen Voices? This way, you can empower yourself and others simply and beautifully with the written word. Poetry is a great form of self-expression, and a poetry slam enables teen girls who have been writing poems to read them out loud to an audience. In the chapter “Hold a Poetry Slam,” Indie Girl encourages teen girls to “share a vision, thought, emotion or political idea in verse.” First things first, you’ll need to find a location for your event, recruit a few poets, and create a board of members to help out organizing, producing, judging etc. Since a poetry slam is a competition, judges and scorekeepers are necessary. But don’t let that discourage you. Don’t let the fear of not winning keep you silent! Want to read more on poetry slams? Check out our article “Speaking Up Is Slammin’” by teen editors Tekeisha Meade and Mirna Ortiz.

Indie Girl is a tool for launching your dream into reality. The book is just a little (really great) guide to help you along your journey. Just don’t substitute it for the really important tool: you!

Indie Girl: From Starting a Band to Launching a Fashion Company, Nine Ways to Turn Your Creative Talent into Reality