Laurie Toby Edison

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Artist Sneaks Out at Night to Change the World

Debbie says:

These super-fabulous street art posters have been showing up in Philadelphia and New York. The artist is Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, who also has a Tumblr called Stop Telling Women to Smile.

 

Fazlalizadeh lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant (a famously low-income, mostly African-American and Hispanic) neighborhood in New York, where she got sick of being constantly cat-called, so she took action.

She also gives artist talks and uses those, like her art and her web presence, to get people to think about the meaning behind, and the effect of, street harassment. The posters prompt discussion, including responses written on the posters themselves, for example (as seen at the first link above) “a cocky woman who blows a guy off isn’t that attractive, no matter how good you look,” and “Relax!”

So, she’s touching a nerve.

Who knows? Maybe in a year or two, Fazlalizadeh will not have to “dodge cops in the cover of darkness” to get her posters into the world. I’d like to see them as public service announcements in bus shelters and train platforms in every English-speaking city in the world.

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