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‘I Am Here’ Project Aims to Leverage The Voices of Women Around the World

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“Although the world that we live in is coming along in leaps and bounds where female visibility is concerned, there are still some corners of the world that we haven’t touched yet – living in the western world, it is unlikely that our efforts will be able to stop the discrimination that is directed against so many women. Hence my project: I Am Here.”

UK based writer and activist Fran Hayden is leveraging the voices of women in her photo campaign ‘I Am Here’. “I want to collect photos of women who have chosen how they want to be seen,  not how society tells them to be, not how culture depicts womanhood, but how individual women want to present themselves,” Hayden wrote on her website on the premise behind the project.

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WYV Editor-in-Chief Ravneet Vohra

 

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WYV Lead Graphic Designer Elly Garcia

 

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WYV Senior Editor Monica Cadena

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Oakland based artist Lala Openi of Malidoma Collective

From the I AM Here Project:

The spectrum of female silencing is vast and for some of us, it would be more than we can handle to know of the atrocities that some women suffer. We cannot fathom the kind of misogyny that dominates some parts of the world, where the treatment of women is abhorrent and disgusting. Sadly, this kind of degradation cannot be halted by using hashtags or by starting projects. For the Western world at least (although our efforts are unlikely to touch these far parts of the world) we can fight to have the female voice heard so that our experiences are validated, so that we can be seen as people, equals and a force to be reckoned with.

My project, I Am Here, aims to show that women are more.

We are more than the status we have been given in society.

We are more than sexualised objects.

We are more than rape or sexist jokes.

We are more than a punching bag.

We are more than a silence for you to fill.

We are more than just aesthetics.

We are more than we have been given credit for.

We are worth more.

We have a voice, and we are here.

“I know that I’m a very little fish in a big pond, but if you would be interested in this, I believe that we could make a difference to something that is totally abhorrent in society,” says Hayden. We can definitely stand behind this amazing campaign!

Want to get involved? Here’s how:

  1. Choose a word that you identify with the most (e.g. fearless, strong, Mother).
  2. Write the word on your hand.
  3. Snap a photo
  4. Send the photo to Fran at:
    Instagram @franhayden
    Twitter: @frannnh
    Facebook: Fran Hayden
  5. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #IAmHereProject

Submissions officially closed yesterday (Oct/11), but Fran has extended submissions until Tuesday for WYV readers. survivor
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Originally from the Bay, I was uprooted from my eclectic surroundings and forced to spend my formative years in conservative San Joaquin County (Stockton) after Loma Prieta. Earthquake central couldn't deter me, and in 2010, I relocated to San Francisco. After a year of not being rich or knowing how to code, I moved to Oakland, where my momma and my momma's momma were born. Oakland has changed A LOT from when I was growing up, and I love getting reacquainted with my roots. Like our city's logo, Oakland grounds me, it's where I've rediscovered myself and unleashed my creativity. If I were a tattoo, I'd be eyes on my eyelids so I can snooze the day without anyone noticing (which I do often.) If I were a street in Oakland, I'd be Skyline Blvd, because, the view. Favorite spot in Oakland? I love it all! But I'd have to say Redwood Regional Park...or Raj Indian in Piedmont.

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