Street harassment is something that many women have to deal with, regardless of age, race, economic situation or location. It happens around the globe and it probably happens your street as well. While it shouldn’t be a common occurrence, it is. But, one Brooklyn-based artist wants to change that.
Through her project, Stop Telling Women to Smile, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is attempting to curb gender based street harassment. According to her website, her work attempts to combat the harassment by “placing drawn portraits of women, composed with captions that speak directly to offenders, outside in public spaces.”
While she was originally known for her oil paintings, the artist branched out to become a muralist as she believes that street art can be an impactful tool for tackling street harassment.
The website states:
“Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world wide. This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street – creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.”
Check out the amazing art below! It is very impactful and makes a statement. It truly inspires change!
The Stop Telling Women To Smile Project aims to stop gender based street harassment
Photos Courtesy of Stop Telling Women To Smile
According to her website, the project began in Brooklyn in the fall of 2012. It is an on-going, traveling series and will gradually include many cities and many women participants. In 2014, the project went international, when the artist traveled to Mexico City.
The website stated:
For her first international residency, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, in partnership with Fusion, will travel to Mexico City to produce new work featuring local women, the first trip outside of the country for STWTS that will be documented for a story on Fusion Digital. This is very exciting as it’s Tatyana’s first trip to work in person with women outside of the country.
The week will kick off with a group discussion with Mexico City women to learn about their experiences with harassment in public spaces. From there, Tatyana will draw their portraits and design original pieces — in Spanish — that reflect their stories. Tatyana will then wheatpaste these pieces around the city, and, with help from the Fusion team, document locals’ reactions to work.
Despite a different language, Fazlalizadeh’s work is just as inspirational. This project will not only help the women of all the countries it touches, but bring women across the world together through art and activism. Together, women across America, across the world can stand strong together and end street harassment. It is a right for women to feel safe on the streets. No one should have to deal with catcalls and constant taunting when stepping outside of their homes. It is necessary to end the street harassment that occurs all over the world.
One of Fazlalizadeh’s works in Mexico City
Photo Courtesy of Stop Telling Women To Smile