anna brones

writer + artist + activist

A Strawberry Cake to Celebrate Swedish Midsummer

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Summer solstice marks the longest day of the year, and that’s cause for celebration. This week is one of sunshine stretching into the evening, carpets of wildflowers in the midst of grassy fields, bare feet and picnic blankets.

For me, it marks the celebration of Swedish midsommar, which will be celebrated this Friday. The traditional midsommar spread of food is one of my favorites, featuring some of my favorite dishes like marinated cucumbers, pickled herring (which you can even use in a savory cake), and plenty of knäckebröd.

But my favorite part of midsommar has to be dessert. Strawberry cake is one of the most common desserts on the Swedish midsommar table, and it puts seasonal berries front and center. It’s a simple dessert, topped with plenty of whipped cream and bright red berries.

I like to make the cake with cardamom, and even marinate a few strawberries in honey and cardamom to use as the center filling. The cake is cut in half, so that you can layer it, but if you want to make an even fancier cake, consider making two of them and layering them.

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Written by Anna Brones

June 21, 2017 at 07:35

‘I Look Like a Fisherman’ Greeting Cards

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In honor and support of the women who fish our seas, I teamed up with Salmon Sisters to make a limited edition of benefit greeting cards. They were inspired by the I Look Like a Farmer cards I did last fall.

The result is five different cards featuring papercuts of mine. The series is titled ‘I Look Like a Fisherman’ and 50% of proceeds will be donated to sponsoring a promising young female fishermen to attend the 2017 Alaska Young Fishermen’s Summit in Anchorage, Alaska.

The Summit takes place December 6-8, 2017, and is an incredible resource for fishermen getting started in the industry. Each set of five cards comes with five envelopes. The 5×7″ greeting cards are printed on 100 lb. cover Desert Storm Neenah Environment paper, FSC certified and 30% post consumer. The cards are printed in Seattle, Washington by women-owned printing company Girlie Press.

I love working on projects like these that highlight (and also support) the hard work of our food producers. You can buy a set of cards on the Salmon Sisters website or on my site

 

Written by Anna Brones

March 23, 2017 at 11:07

Empowering Women Coffee Farmers

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“To rebuild the spirit of a woman is to rebuild the spirit of a country.” That’s part of the mission statement of Rebuild Women’s Hope, an organization based in Bukavu, on the edge of Lake Kivu in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was started by a local Congolese woman and the organization works to empower local women coffee farmers. It’s one of many initiatives around the world focused on empowering women coffee farmers.

I wrote an article all about the topic that was published this week on Sprudge. Here’s a short snippet:

As part of that agricultural web, coffee is an industry dependent on the work of women around the globe, making gender equity an essential part of the sustainable coffee supply chain. “Most of the obstacles faced by women coffee farmers are the same as those found across the agriculture sector,” says Nick Watson, a coffee-sector adviser with the International Trade Centre, who has an initiative focused on women in coffee. “Social norms often discriminate against women in rural areas leading to disproportionate land and asset ownership; household and income decision making; time and labour distribution; access to information and training; and participation and leadership in rural organisations or as registered suppliers to agribusinesses.”

Despite these obstacles, it’s often thanks to women that the coffee production happens in the first place. “Women are on the front lines when it comes to our beloved cup of coffee. They serve as the primary labor force on roles that most affect quality, from picking the ripe coffee cherries off the tree to sorting beans throughout processing. Despite their significant role, most earnings go to men who own the property and manage commercial deals,” says Phyllis Johnson, president of BD Imports.

You can read the full article here.

Image: Glenna Gordon courtesy ITC

Written by Anna Brones

March 17, 2017 at 09:41

Downloadable “Fighting for What is Right” Poster for Women’s March and Beyond

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Fighting for What is Right is Worth It by Anna Brones

Pablo Picasso once said that, “Painting is not made to decorate apartments. It’s an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy.”

The same can be said for art in general. Art is a powerful tool. It is how we communicate. It is how we express ourselves. I made a papercut the day after the U.S. presidential election, inspired by a line in Hillary Clinton’s speech. I eventually turned it into a limited edition print.

In honor of the Women’s March on Washington, and the many marches and protests that I hope are to come as we as citizens stand up for ourselves, our sisters and our brothers, I decided to make a downloadable version. It’s free and available to anyone who wants to use it. Art for the people. Print it, post it, carry it.

Download here.

Written by Anna Brones

January 16, 2017 at 13:05

“Stand With A Million” Buttons

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Stand With a Million button by Anna Brones

These 2.25″ buttons are being made in honor of the Women’s March on Washington, taking place in Washington D.C., and at other locations all around the country, on January 21, 2017. Buttons are currently in production and will be shipped out Monday January 16, 2017. Buttons are printed by One Inch Round in Portland, Oregon with 65% recycled steel and 100% recycled, FSC-certified paper.

$1 of each sale goes to Planned Parenthood. You can buy one here.

Written by Anna Brones

January 6, 2017 at 11:45

“Write Like a Motherfucker” Notebook

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"Write Like a Motherfucker" notebook by Anna Brones

“Against the ruin of the world, there is only one defense—the creative act.”

– Kenneth Rexroth

As the new year kicks off, I have been thinking about the necessity of ideas and words. Without them, we are soulless, both individually and culturally.

At the end of last year, I made a papercut inspired by a line from Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugar column. I wanted to use it to inspire others to create, so over the holidays, I turned them into a notebook, printed by Scout Books. They’re meant to fuel all kinds of revolutionary ideas and writing.

They’re available in my shop now, and 10% of the proceeds goes to supporting PEN America, an organizations working to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide.

Written by Anna Brones

January 2, 2017 at 15:30

“Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed” – Benefit Zine

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Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed

In January 2017 (just in time for the Million Women’s March) my friend Caitlin and I will be releasing Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed. We are currently wrapping up the final design so that we can send it to the printer right after the new year.

No matter who we are or here we live, we must eat. Food is something that unites us. With that in mind, I wanted to use food as a catalyst for change. Protest Fuel is a collection of recipes, essays, artwork and quotes, all with the goal of inspiring you to take action, whether that’s by hosting a comforting soup night or getting out on the frontlines in a protest.

The zine itself is will be printed in January 2017 in Seattle by Girlie Press. All of the contributors to this zine have volunteered their recipes, stories and time, and for that I am very grateful.

I wanted this zine to benefit a cause, but how to choose? There is no way to choose. There are so many issues that are important right now. I have chosen to donate 100% of the proceeds to the Women’s Environment and Development Organization. When women thrive, so does society. Without the environment we have nothing. As one of the WEDO founders Vandana Shiva once said, “In nature’s economy the currency is not money, it is life.” I hope that this zine inspires you to choose life, to be active within your own communities, and to support the people and initiatives committed to positive change.

You can preorder Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed here.

Written by Anna Brones

December 29, 2016 at 16:57