Really love all of the straight-faced selfies under the #stoptellingwomentosmile tag on Instagram, by the way.
Is there a website with background about this I'm curious? Looking for more info :)
Look around here: stoptellingwometosmile.com
For info on me, the artist, look around here: www.tlynnfaz.com
I'm in love with STWTS. Being at a HBCU for school I get perverts all around the campus, once a "Damn girl you have a fat ass." When I flipped him off I instantly became a "bitch" to him. Are you all doing any events in South Carolina or Georgia?
Right. It instantly turns from a “compliment” to an insult when you don’t respond the way they want (or if you don’t respond at all). Yet, we’re supposed to be flattered.
I will be coming to Atlanta early in the new year! I’m glad you like the project.
Why shouldn't a woman be asked to smile? This is a very real question. Does it come off as diminutive? Granted I'd rather make a woman genuinely smile, as opposed to asking for something free. However, I still wonder what this movement is about? "Stop telling women to smile," "I'm no wifey." It's feeling like a serious disconnect between women & men. I think that is the end of the world...women and men stop interacting all together.
Seriously tho. Why *should* she be asked to smile?
Asking a woman to smile is to make her more approachable. It’s to make you feel more comfortable - not her. I, personally, have zero fucks to give about being approachable to strange men on the street.
Women are not here to entertain and please random folks. Asking me to smile is akin to asking me to jump. Um. For what?
There’s this weird responsibility placed on women to be happy and lady-like and pleasant all of the time. It rids us of being able to express our own range of human emotions.
No one is asking for men and women to not interact with each other. That’s silly. This project is asking for women to be interacted with as if they have agency over their own bodies.
As the project expands and I reproduce the work in certain cities, I’ll be looking for help and resources in each city. For anyone who’d like to be involved, we’ve created this online form that details how specifically you can be involved.
If you’re an artist, activist, public art curator, arts organizer, or simply want to volunteer in another way, let us know. We’re looking for people specifically in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Miami, Baltimore, Boston, DC, and Atlanta, but definitely want to hear from you no matter where you are.
If you want some posters to wheat paste on your own in your town, we’ve restructured the way you can do that. Because wheat pasting is a real task, we’re asking that you create a group of at least 5 people before requesting some posters. Then, fill out this form, and we’ll hook you up.
When I landed in Chicago on October 23rd, there was a high of 40 degrees. So, there’s that.
That night I had a group meeting with local women. When hosting these
events. I never know who will be there. I hope for a big, diverse group of
folks to be there so that I get stories of varying experiences. I heard from
a group of about 15 women about the different neighborhoods in the city, they’re experiences there compared to where they were originally from, and a range of stories illustrating the harassment they’ve received over the years.
I chose 3 women to portray in the work. Like in Boston, I drew their
portraits from photos I took, and then approached them about a potential caption for their quotes.
A few of the women in attendance at the first night’s group discussion
offered to host another gathering at their home. We wanted to host
another discussion that featured voices of QPOC, a group that was visibly missing at the first night’s meeting.
So, on my last night in Chicago, I traveled to their house in Pilsen. We ate chili, I played with their Chihuahua “Junior”, and we sat in a circle and rapped about the various types of street harassment and how it affects us. The macro issues involved in harassment like transphobia, homophobia, fat-phobia, racism, etc. We talked about the way women are harassed not only by cis men but, gay men, and other women. All information and inspiration for portraits to come.
While in Chicago I visited some other artists and art venues. I checked out a few exhibitions at the Cultural Center and the Arts Incubator, a new space from Theaster Gates. I went to hear Theaster speak about his art practice - particularly the public art projects he has in the works. I’m familiar with his installation work but wasn’t really aware of the building rehab work he’s been doing in Chicago.
I wheat pasted around the city, taking suggestions from people on the
different neighborhoods to visit. This building in particular, on Kedzie and Diversey in Logan Square, was brought to my attention from the building owner. She offered to let me paste anywhere I wanted on the outside. There wasn’t a ton of space to choose from with the scaffolding covering much of it, so I took one of the ground floor walls to paste 3 pieces.
And, of course, a week later this happens:
Usually when this work gets vandalized or torn down, I don’t say much because:
1. sometimes, the work itself is vandalism.
2. this is a temporary medium - it’s not meant to last forever.
3. when you put up work in the streets, it’s subject to everything that is
outside: weather, people, etc .
However. The blatant misogyny of this defacement is upsetting.
Because this is the stuff that the work is trying to combat.
Overall, Chicago was a good experience. Thank you to everyone who helped out by telling me their stories, wheat pasting with me, or just directing me to some good local food.
Catch-my-breath work. I see one of your posters when walking my child to school in the morning so I searched the text online and found your NPR interview. Way to own this.