Saturday, June 25, 2022

We are not second class citizens.

I am heartbroken by the news that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. And I'm angry. I'm worried. I'm scared. I was in college when Roe v. Wade passed in 1973, so I'm not sure how to be an adult woman in a world that is at war with women.

Well, let me begin with this picture. I found it on a wall in Paris, in the Marais in 2011. I remember the feeling it gave me. First, I was startled by the beauty of this woman in the picture, but more so by the message. You are so beautiful to me... And this thought extended to women in general. We are all beautiful.

There's a long history of using graffiti art to express a political or artistic point of view. During the May '68 demonstrations in Paris, the students from L'Ecole des Beaux Arts, occupied their building and renamed the school the Atelier Populaire--the People's Workshop. They created hundreds of posters and took to the streets, marched and scrawled their ideas across the walls of Paris. Many of these images and words were poetic. Even surreal. This was thanks to the influence of a short-lived, but very active group called The Situationalists. They came up with some amazing messages that they circulated around Paris during 1968.

My favorites:  

All Power to the Imagination

Be realistic. Demand the impossible

Below the paving stones, the beach 

This is the power of poetry. This is the power of creativity and the imagination. These art students actually did change the world around them. 

But, you know what--the world will constantly need changes and calls to action.  Nothing stays constant and we cannot take anything for granted.

Creative friends, your assignment for this week is to ask yourself what would you like to write or paint or announce on a public space. (You don't actually have go out and commit the act of public defacement.) But rather, simply ask yourself what the subversive, creative, rebellious--and most importantly, the poetic and clever part of you--would like to announce to the world. You can express this is dance, song, poetry, painting. But, more this this, once you have your message, you can carry it in your heart, always. And you can share it with everyone. (We do have this thing called the internet.)

And here I am, an example of doing just that with my little newsletter, or should I say my graffiti art.

All power to the imagination. You are so beautiful to me. And you are not a second class citizen.




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