anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Posts Tagged ‘women’s rights

Vote

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It’s National Voter Registration Day, so make sure you and all your friends are registered.

I just had these Vote buttons made, featuring my original papercut “Stars, Stripes and Uterus.” I made the papercut in 2016, but it still feels timely. Because women’s rights are human rights, and this button is perfect for election season (but wearable during any season, of course). You can order yours here.

Want the same artwork on a coffee mug? I’ve got that too. Order here.

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Written by Anna Brones

September 25, 2018 at 13:54

Wangari Maathai

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“We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!”

-Wangari Maathai

Born in rural Kenya, Wangari Maathai was the first woman in East and Central African to earn a doctorate degree, which she was granted from the University of Nairobi in 1971. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she served on the National Council of Women of Kenya. It was here that she came up with the idea of planting trees, a concept that she grew into a large scale, grassroots organization, the Green Belt Movement, focused on conserving the environment and improving the lives of women. Planting trees meant planting hope, a form or protest and renewal, fighting oppression with growth.

Environmentalist. Activist. Human rights advocate. Writer. Her work was inspired by her roots, but reached a global audience, and in 2004 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

I was recently reading Terry Tempest Williams’ book When Women Were Birds, and learned that the two had met in the early 1980s, and Wangari had become mentor of Terry’s. Terry herself had been inspired to start the Green Belt Movement of Utah.

Terry writes, “When I once asked her what she had learned from planting trees, she said, ‘Patience.'”

That sentiment stuck with me. Patience. It’s the same sentiment that’s in Wangari’s quote above.

The patience to speak up.

The patience to listen.

The patience to rise up.

The patience to continue.

I wonder what wisdom Wangari would give to us today. I think it would still be the same. We must continue to rise up and walk. We must be patient and persistent.

This papercut is a part of the Women’s Wisdom Project, a project focused on showcasing the wisdom of inspiring, insightful women by making 100 papercut portraits.

Women’s Wisdom Project

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Going into this year, I knew that I wanted a bigger project to work on. A couple of months ago I had made a few papercuts inspired by the Unsung Heroines Instagram account, run by Molly Schiot, author of Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History. As I was working on those papercuts, going through an assortment of portrait photos and quotes for inspiration, I started thinking about all that the women of past and present have to offer. What insight do they have? What can they teach us?

I thought about a collection of papercuts, each done as a portrait of a woman, and paired with a quote of something that she had once written or said. The idea would be to compile the wisdom of many women through art.

And so the seed for the Women’s Wisdom Project was planted.

During the month of January, Kickstarter is running the Make 100 campaign, an initiative to focus on editions of 100. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to launch the Women’s Wisdom Project. Starting this month, I’m committing to making 100 papercuts this year, documenting a variety of amazing women and what we have to learn from them.

Over the course of the year, I am certain that the project will continue to develop (zine? book? calendar?) but this is a way for you to support in the initial stages, and if you are interested in doing so, you can check out the Kickstarter campaign here. There are limited edition cards and prints available as well as some other fun items.

Above is a papercut I made last week, in honor of Virginia Woolf’s birthday. “Once she knows how to read there’s only one thing you can teach her to believe in and that is herself,” Woolf wrote.

Women deserve to be heard, we deserve to have a voice. Hearing the voices of others also empowers us to find our own. This is why I want to create work to showcase women from around the world – and throughout history – and their wisdom.

Supporting this work means supporting the work of women throughout the ages and amplifying their voices. The project will honor women of the past and women of the present, and I would also like this project to inspire community support for women overall, encouraging people to support women’s work in their local communities.

Throughout the course of the project, I will highlight these stories and the artwork right here on my website, in my newsletter and on social media channels. You can check out #womenswisdomproject on Instagram.

I look forward to working on this project and to sharing it with all of you.

Written by Anna Brones

January 29, 2018 at 10:40

Downloadable Vote Poster in Support of Women’s Rights

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I made this papercut, titled “Stars, Stripes and Uterus,” back in 2016 before the U.S. presidential election, but it’s as necessary today as it was then.

If you’re going out this coming weekend marching for the Women’s March 2.0, or if you simply want to show what you stand for, I’ve turned this papercut into a free downloadable poster that you can easily print at home. Hang it in a window, hold it above your head, print out a bunch and pass them out to friends. Stand up for women’s rights.

It’s available in two sizes: 8.5×11 and 11×17.

Written by Anna Brones

January 19, 2018 at 07:15

Posted in Portfolio, Women

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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

#mybodymychoice

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vote

Stars, Stripes and Uterus, 5.5″x 8″ papercut © Anna Brones, 2016.

I made the above papercut in honor of women’s rights around the world, and if you are interested in showing your support of women’s rights, you can snag it as a coffee mug, t-shirt or print over on Society6.

Written by Anna Brones

October 6, 2016 at 12:18

The Power of the Bicycle: Women Riding in Afghanistan

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Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 5.52.59 PM

What if you were told you couldn’t ride a bicycle?

Would you give up the joy of two wheels or would you accept the risks and pedal anyway?

For women in Afghanistan, riding a bicycle is taboo. But there are women doing it regardless of those taboos and cultural expectations, and their story is inspiring, the topic of the upcoming film Afghan Cycles.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Anna Brones

August 27, 2014 at 18:10