Last year on International Women’s Day thousands of people flocked to the legal graffiti area in Leake Street to witness how over 100 female graffiti writers took over the tunnel and set the Guinness World Record for the largest spray painted group mural whilst raising money for Breast Cancer Care. (And I might have set the record for the longest introductory sentence here!) Shortly after its massive success the second edition was already announced. In 2015 the world would witness Femme Fierce: Reloaded!
This year’s edition, which happened on Sunday 8 March, was Bigger, Bolder and Bluer.We saw over 150 talented female artists of all ages and from all over the world having fun, making beautiful art, but most importantly creating awareness for this year’s chosen charity: Plan UK and their ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign. Plan UK stands up for girls’ rights and fights against child marriage, violence and female genital mutilation, not only in development countries, but also in the UK.
Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves Others
What started as a ‘crazy idea’ in the summer of 2013 by festival organiser Ayaan Bulale has now grown into the world’s biggest female street art extravaganza. Ayaan’s energy is rather infectious and this lady definitely proves that you can do beautiful and positive things once you set your mind to it and help make this world a better place and definitely more colourful!
Another extraordinary woman who deserves a mention here is Bri Patty, the founder of The Spring Projects (and coincidentally a fellow Dutchie). When she announced her project absolutely no one believed she was genuine. She set up a competition that was open to all female artists in the world. The winner would receive an all-expenses paid trip to London and other European cities where the artist could showcase her work to the local community and global press. Bri: ‘Sami of Street Art United States [and friend of this blog] was one of the few first people who believed in me and promoted my project. It’s incredible how people doubt someone’s motives when doing something good for a stranger.’ Bri told me how she and the prize winner were even detained for 2 hours at customs upon in arrival in London where they questioned Bri’s motivation for paying a plane ticket for a total stranger.
What Bri gets out of this? The reward of making others happy by helping realising their dreams.
Let this case of genuine unselfishness be an example to all of us!
The Spring Projects ‘Next Big Thing’ winner was Fio Silva from Argentina who had never flown before in her life and didn’t even have a passport! Head over to Inspiring City’s blog to read more about organiser Bri and winner Fio.
Kudoz to all ladies who came down to the tunnel and created great work from 8am till 6pm! Despite them having painted for hours, all artists were more than happy to talk to curious visitors and assembled press about their work or pose for the many photographers. Once again the tunnel was buzzing with hissing spray cans and positive energy from all those thousands of people passing through. The DJ booth set up in the middle of the tunnel added to that festive feeling. One of the vocalists I heard there was Jo Jo who also made a beautiful mural. Jo Jo was one of the youngest and most talented artists of the day and to me is the face and voice of the next generation of strong independent and talented women.
Come and join me next year for the third edition of Femme Fierce: Femme Fierce: WOW! The festival is going to be even BIGGER as the ladies will be taking over the tunnel for two days this time! Dates for your diary: 7 & 8 May 2016, see you there!
You can read my review of Femme Fierce 2014 here.
This photo of Thieu and her mother is my favourite photo of the day! Thieu’s mother came over from France to visit her daughter and actually joined in the creative flow. While she was painting next to her daughter, Thieu made this beautiful portrait of her mother who was entirely unaware of her lovely face appearing larger than life on the wall.
Don’t let first looks deceive you! While this almost fairy tale figure by Vanesa Longchamp looks all dreamy and innocent, the text accompanying the work unveils the ugly truth for millions of girls each year: “It’s hard to tell this is my wedding night. I’m dressed and ready despite my innocence. It’s hard to tell whose little girl am I. The man with the black hat will take me home tonight.”
This work by Zabou was definitely one of the most memorable pieces of the day, partially because Zabou was totally in character as a schoolgirl and played her part with so much humour!
The funniest piece of the day, brought to you by Sipe, Cry & Akit.
Shouldn’t little girls lose themselves in fairy tales rather than to be confronted with the brutality of adults? This piece by S.o.S. is not about Alice getting lost in Wonderland, but it’s about young girls of her age falling victim to FGM (female genital mutilation). According to Plan UK 130 million girls and women worldwide have undergone FGM and every year approximately 65,000 girls in the UK are at risk!
Mrs.R & mummy.giBs a.k.a. Mr.R & papa.giBs ask for your help to ensure girls all over the world can grow up in safety with freedom of choice.
The power of words and art can make a difference! In this photo you see MAGA finishing her piece featuring activist and the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.
Jo Jo at work before she rocked the mic and impressed everybody with her amazing rapping skills! An awesome lady and the next generation of talented female artists! Oh and she’s Dutch too, even better 🙂
This piece by Hannah Adamaszek was voted as the ‘most spectacular piece’ of the day by the jury.
Powerful piece by Georgie pleading to end child marriage.
If you want to learn more about Plan UK or find out how you can support them, then go to their website.