Reclaiming My Lens 

by | Mar 31, 2021 | Art and Activism, Youth Voice

Imagine curating an art show with your homegirl—showing artwork that captures our collective struggles while recognizing our shared hope in the community that watered our growth. Well, that’s what my comrade Xochtil Larios and I learned how to do when we curated the 34th annual Solo Mujeres Exhibition at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts this month in Yelamu Territory (San Francisco). In “Watering the Seeds: Organizing and Creating Paths for Young Women to Lead” we aim to uplift the sacred stories of our siblings from Brooklyn, Chicago,  Boston, and our very own Yelamu Ohlone Territory (San Francisco). These goals are steep, but because we are grounded in the guidance of our mentors, we are succeeding.

Using art from I Am Why’s book, I Am Why Reclaiming the Lens, “Watering the Seeds” invites the viewer to experience the brush strokes and the stories of system-impacted young women and gender-expansive folks. The lens through which these artists created their pieces reveals a pathway to community liberation. 

The opportunity to collectively publish a book with our I Am Why community prepared us to step into curating mode. Curating walls we once marveled at has been an unforgettable experience. Our mentors at I Am Why have taught us what we need to execute this opportunity guided by our vision. We are reclaiming our narratives in books and now art galleries. 

We have the opportunity to use this platform, which is important to us, and we invite you to join us in celebrating and uplifting the voices that are often silenced. We are reclaiming the dominant narrative of who we are, and we welcome you to get to know us for who we are. 

We invite you to check out our virtual exhibit.

Alondra, I Am Why program associate

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