2021 Call to Action Art Commissions

Art+Feminism is pleased to announce three new pieces hosted on Wikimedia Commons as part of the Call to Action Art Commission program by artists Gucora Andu (Kenya), Aditi Abhijit Kulkarni (India), and Thamires Fortunato Martins (Brazil). All new pieces are available now on Wikimedia Commons. Read more about the images and the artists below.

Art+Feminism team members and Co-curators Zita Ursula Zage, Medhavi Ghandi, and Juliana Montiero selected these three artists out of 85 applications to create original pieces of work that visualize Art+Feminism. The work will be used by the global Art+Feminism community in future Art+Feminism campaigns.

Black and white image by Aditi Abhijit Kulkarni of five figures in the compartment reserved for women in the Mumbai local trains with a black border with white letters that repeat the text ‘Take Space, Make Space'

Ladies Dabba (2022) represents the compartment reserved for women in the Mumbai local trains. It provides a safe space in public transport and bears witness to a diverse group of women of all ages, from different walks of life. There is a sense of familiarity among strangers as they sit or stand shoulder to shoulder and are free to exist without inhibitions given the lack of the male gaze. To journey in this compartment is to experience average everyday interactions between women – both compassionate and harsh. It is a space that is as flawed and gentle as any woman traveling in it. ‘Take Space, Make Space’ hopes for women claiming and thereby creating bigger and healthier spaces for their kind.

Aditi Kulkarni is based out of Mumbai, India and enjoys creating art about mundane everyday activities through her observations of the surroundings. She endeavors to showcase her interpretation of the world around in a personal and sometimes humorous way. | @aditi_koolkarni

An illustration by Gucora Andu of two figures symbolizing internalized misogyny.

Internalized Misogyny (2022)

As feminists, we are convinced that we see everyone equally, yet most of us have internalized misogyny. One of the most challenging parts of becoming a feminist has been the sometimes startling disparity between my current beliefs and how I’ve been conditioned to think and behave. Internalized sexism might be difficult to identify. Regardless of how independent we feel we are, we have a plethora of preconceived notions about how a woman should live that stem from societal expectations and gender conventions. It is vital to be conscious of this, and your own thoughts and opinions, not only about other women but also about yourself.

The solution, I believe, is that empowerment is not found in the perfect unison of belief and action, but rather in the chaotic mix between the two. Learning, in some ways, implies acknowledging we were wrong at one point, so perhaps we can take solace in the often contradictory process of becoming the woman we want to be.

Gucora Andu means ‘To Draw People’ in Kikuyu, a Kenyan Language. My work focuses on illustrating people, most especially women, and issues that concern them. In a country where aspects of African tradition contribute to widespread chauvinistic attitudes, Gucora Andu is a platform that promotes and encourages feminist values. Gucora Andu has worked with NGOs, feminist and female-focused platforms to raise awareness of feminist realities throughout Africa and the world. | Instagram: @gucora.andu | Twitter: @gucora_andu

 A collage by Thamires Fortunato Martins titled: Whole sea in me / goblogbo oku ninu mi in Yoruba. Referencing Yemanjá who is the mother of the sea and of the heads (orí).

Whole sea in me / goblogbo oku ninu mi in Yoruba. Referencing Yemanjá who is the mother of the sea and of the heads (orí).

The collage work represents a vision for contemporary aesthetics, and in my work, specifically, acknowledges the resistance of Black culture. In that sense, my work resignifies the way we look at archival images by shedding a light on aspects that were neglected in the history of the black diaspora in Brazil. The collages adhere to a black narrative and allow for new symbologies and identities through image production. 

The aim is to reconstruct the narrative from the Black margins, centering on black women’s experiences in the context of resistance of the African Diaspora. This image-making process has provided me with the tools to develop a storytelling style based on Afropolitanism (Mbembe) ideas. As I revisit archival images, I can reorder past memories into other perspectives, which can rewrite new story prospects for the generations to come.

Thamires Fortunato lives in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro. A multidisciplinary artist, she works with digital collage and video art. Her research reconstructs the peripheral and Black narrative, with aspects of the struggle involving incredible Black women in the context of resistance in the African Diaspora. She participated in the exhibition A Zero na Alfaiataria, in Curitiba, in the show focused on the publication of artists from the Residência Artística with the work “Reconheça-me Marli Coragem”. She also participated of the Festival Deixa a Gira Girar Exposição Olope, with a mapped projection in Vitória – Espírito Santo, with the work “Deus é Preta” and of the edital Cenas DELAS held by the Observatório de Favelas, focused on promoting artistic work produced by women. In December 2021, she exhibited her work “Negritude Viva” at Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Laje – Rio de Janeiro. She is currently pursuing a BA in Cinema and Audiovisual at the Universidade Estatual do Sudoeste da Bahia. | @thamiresfortunato