This upcoming March 2011 will mark the 100th year anniversary of International Women's Day (IWD), celebrated every year on March 8th. IWD has been one of my favorite dates to produce artwork. In anticipation of this important upcoming celebration, I've recently completed a poster in collabo with Syracuse Cultural Workers. They just released a calendar with this piece and you can order one now by clicking here! Keep a look out in 2011 for the oversize poster to be released. The image depicts a Latina migrant worker organizing her community to stand up for the rights of immigrants. Behind her is a depiction of a feminine figure symbolizing both Mother Earth and every woman on the planet. There is no eye on the figure because the woman is all of us. In my art practice, I intentionally draw women as powerful, bold, and inspiring beings. One of the significant challenges for me growing up was to gain my self esteem as a young woman of color because most of the depictions I saw of women showed them as white, thin, blonde, and hyper-sexualized. I became an artist in order to claim my voice, and to show women in our fullest capacity.
When I was 20 years old and exploring different paths for myself, I ended up in Los Angeles doing an internship at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG). It is there where my love affair with political posters flourished. One of my task was to organize the hundreds of slides, and I remember looking at posters of Angela Davis, posters by Emory Douglas which called for an end to police harrassment, and posters about women. Some posters I could barely look at because they made me nervous because they were so in-your-face. I was raised in an immigrant family and always rebelled against Latino machismo, so posters about feminism and women's solidarity really spoke to me while making me jittery at the same time.
Here are some of my favorite IWD posters from the collection at CSPG:
We Celebrate Women's Struggles
Susan Shapiro; Inkworks
International Women's Day Celebration 1977
African National Congress
Offset, circa 1980s
London, United Kingdom
You can view these and more by visiting the online exhibitions at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. Click on "Online Exhibitions" and then on " Reclaiming the F-Word: Posters on International Feminism"