“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” ~Audre Lorde
Back home in Arizona and beyond thrilled to be facilitating Somos Escritoras #PHX. This week, Chicas (grades 6-12) from schools throughout AZ will come together at Palabras Bookstore to examine topics related to identity, language and culture while using art and writing as tools of self-definition, expression and critique.
On the first day of workshops, we asked girls to respond to the following questions: How do you define yourself? How do you think society defines you? ¿Cómo te defines a ti mismo? ¿Cómo crees que te define la sociedad? These questions anchored all texts we explored and activities we engaged in during our time together. Girls shared with one another and then shared aloud. In their responses, girls defined themselves as human, different—meant to stand out, un gran chica who wants to go far in life, as loud as ME!
From our opening conversations, we moved into a discussion of the life and art of Frida Kahlo.A bold and fierce artist that defined herself on her own terms through her art and activism. After a brief discussion, we engaged in a gallery walk of her self-portraits, which we had set up in the space prior to our time together.
After, exploring her art and noticing the ways she used colors, facial features, hair, animals and artifacts her painting to express her emotions and define herself in a specific moment in time, each girl created their own self-portrait—defining themselves through their art.