Everyday walking down the street I get told to “smile”, the request makes me want to do the opposite and begs the questions: “Who are you? Why are you talking to me? And what does this do for your life?”. This weeks Worthy Wednesday spotlights a worthy female artist. This friday April 12th, if you are in the Brooklyn area come out to support the opening reception of Stop Telling Women to Smile a street art project by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Fazlalizadeh’s profound work is thought provoking and inspiring. Her work has gained attention from The New York Times, HLN, Fast Co., NYU, and more.
Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world wide. This project attempts to take women’s voices, and faces, and put them in the street – creating a presence for women in an environment where women are a lot of times made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe – outside in the street.
The project is saying that street harassment is not okay. That feeling entitled to treat and speak to women any type of way, is not okay. That demanding a woman’s attention is not okay. That intruding on a woman’s space and thoughts is not okay. That women should be able to walk to the train, to the grocery store, to school – without having to cross the street to avoid the men that she sees already eyeing her as she approaches. That making women feel objectified, sexualized simply because they are women, is not okay. That grabbing a woman’s wrist to force her to speak to you is not okay. That requesting for a woman to “smile for you” is not okay – because women are not outside on the street for the purpose of entertaining and pleasing men. That it’s quite possible women are wonderful, happy, intelligent human beings that simply want to move through out the world comfortably and safely while wearing their face however the hell they want to. – Tatyana Fazlalizadeh blog
Fazlalizadeh’s exhibition can be found at Fresthetic in Williamsburg, BK. Fresthetic is a space that plays home to what many artists, designers and writers have been doing for years. A collaboration of 3 personalities, it shares one goal- to bring art, clothing and products to a community that is closely holding on to its roots, and rightly so.
Take a look at Fresthetic’s 5th Artist Talk with Fazlalizadeh. If you are in the Brooklyn area be sure to come out and support great artistry and community.