Thursday, March 16, 2017

#IResistBecause social media campaign to take over steps of City Hall

Posted By on Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 2:49 PM

click to enlarge The Los Angeles shoot was #Iresistbecause's first big action, and Loftin hopes to replicate its success elsewhere. - LINDSEY BYRNES
  • Lindsey Byrnes
  • The Los Angeles shoot was #Iresistbecause's first big action, and Loftin hopes to replicate its success elsewhere.

In the aftermath of the 2016 election, a fair amount of hashtags and creative protests emerged via social media. Whole groups of people were galvanized to get their voices out and to make what change they could on both national and local levels.

#Iresistbecause, one of these movements, was started by a once-resident of Colorado Springs, who now makes her home in Los Angeles: Camille Loftin.

Loftin, who used to run a dance studio here in town, has always been a political activist, but after the election she really began to think of new ways to empower women and to empower women to work together. After Trump’s inauguration in January, she thought: “Now is the time to pull the trigger.”

#Iresistbecause is a photography project as well as a protest movement. Loftin collects a diverse group of women, asks them to put their reasons for resisting the administration on cardboard signs, and — after they strip down to their underwear on the steps of city hall — they’re photographed.

The purpose of this is two-fold, she says. On the one hand, it gives the people in the photograph a chance to speak up, to show solidarity with other women against a misogynistic administration. On the other hand, it “[provides] a space for others who might not feel empowered to see that they’re not alone.”

Loftin’s idea is to allow ladies to put it all out there. In our culture, women are told not to take up space, to stay quiet, while that same culture trains men to speak up and put themselves first. “I want to encourage women to take space back and to be loud and to not be ashamed of it,” she says.

So far, Loftin has only organized one of these events in LA, but on March 19 she’s bringing the movement to Colorado Springs.

“Colorado Springs felt like a really important place to do it, because you aren’t necessarily a progressive city,” she says. “It feels like a great place to push back a little bit and give people in the city who aren’t in support of the new administration a chance to come out and say why.”

She has about 15 women lined up for the Springs photo shoot, and she hopes this opportunity will empower them, as well as others in our community, to keep speaking up.

But since Loftin can’t travel to every city, she encourages people in their own communities to organize #Iresistbecause events. For inspiration, check out the movement’s Instagram account.

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