Politics

Monday, February 12, 2018

PPLD documents local response to Trump presidency in traveling photo exhibit

Posted By on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 4:31 PM

COURTESY PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT
  • Courtesy Pikes Peak Library District

Bill Thomas, Special Collections Photo Archivist at Pikes Peak Library District, considers preserving the cultural heritage of the community to be an integral part of the mission of special collections.

And while the term "cultural heritage" typically calls to mind pioneer days and historical figures, in this case it refers to the development of our community day-to-day, especially in these politically tumultuous times.

Following the Women’s March in 2017, Debbie Vitulli, Senior Library Assistant, created The First 100 Days! photo collection with help from Thomas. She had heard of libraries across the country collecting signs from their own local marches, but sadly PPLD didn’t have the room for such an endeavor. A digital collection, however, takes less space, and offers more opportunity for a wider variety of representation. With a digital collection, they could collect images not just from the Women’s March, but from every march, rally and demonstration.

And those first 100 days were vital on both sides of the aisle.

“As PPLD, we’re serving the community. Everybody,” Vitulli says. “We don’t pick a side or specific group. We’re open for everybody’s input. We were open to all the rallies, any kind of demonstration.”

With photos from the Women’s March, the March for Science, an April pro-Trump rally and more, The First 100 Days! contains 420 individual images. Some photos are taken by cell phone, some are screen-grabs from video footage, but all were contributed by members of the community or taken by Vitulli and Thomas themselves.

An exhibit of 40 of the best and most relevant photos in the collection is currently on display at the East Library. Most of them depict the community organizers who led the charge in early 2017, including representatives from Unite Colorado Springs, the NAACP and more.

Thomas says: “The election of President Trump really motivated people. ... We saw natural leaders come to the fore, and we wanted to capture those folks.”

A smaller subset of this exhibit will travel between local libraries for the remainder of 2018, though the East Library will host the largest selection. Those interested in accessing the full collection can do so online for free.

See below for a schedule of where the exhibit will travel for the remainder of the year, and a look at of some of the included images.

The First 100 Days! Exhibition Schedule
February: East Library
March: Fountain Library
April: Rockrimmon Library
May: Old Colorado City Library
August: Monument Library
September: Library 21c
October: Penrose Library
November: Ruth Holley Library
December: Sand Creek Library

  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, January 15, 2018

All Peoples' Breakfast and march builds on Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy

Posted By on Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 2:37 PM

ALISSA SMITH
  • Alissa Smith
On Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Monday, Jan. 15, the annual All Peoples’ Breakfast (organized by the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission and the NAACP) saw more than 450 attendees, packed to bursting in Colorado College’s El Pomar Sports Center. Since the breakfast sold out days ago, organizers shuffled late arrivals into the bleachers to watch the program, making for a full house for the second year in a row.

The breakfast included CC students' visual art, poetry and dance; rousing performances by the Women in Red Gospel Choir and local hip-hop artist and activist Kevin Mitchell; thoughtful, facilitated table talks; and inspiring speeches from Sebrena Forrest (a member of the Mohawk Nation who also gave the invocation), and Rosemary Lytle, who discussed King’s concept of The Promised Land. She quoted his 1968 speech: “I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”

The pervading message of the day: We will only get to that Promised Land by working together.

See photos from the breakfast and the ensuing march below.


  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, January 5, 2018

Pro-choice art project addresses men's role in abortion

Posted By on Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 11:09 AM

Each piece of Lazzarini's new project will have only the man's name, and the year in which the abortion took place. - LINDA LAZZARINI
  • Linda Lazzarini
  • Each piece of Lazzarini's new project will have only the man's name, and the year in which the abortion took place.

I’ll admit, when I first saw local artist Linda Lazzarini’s newest call for entries, I felt off-put, and more than a little confused. It struck me as going against the spirit of her last project, which I personally found powerful and insightful. Last year, Lazzarini collected the stories of those who had faced sexual assault or harassment, and displayed them in an origami installation called Women’s Voices, which will be on display in Sangre De Cristo Arts Center’s Representing the West exhibit, starting Feb. 2. I saw a section of Women’s Voices at Planned Parenthood’s recent exhibition at The Gallery Below, and thought it was a solid concept, and a good, anonymous way to share the stories of women who may have been reluctant to share them on their Facebook pages during the height of the “#metoo” movement.

This latest project, then, threw me for a bit of a loop.

Lazzarini’s first email about it says, in part: “See, it seems to me that it's totally overlooked that for every woman who has an abortion, the man who impregnated her had one, too. That's what this project is about: men who had abortions.” She then asks that folks on her mailing list send her the name (or pseudonym) of a man who has “had an abortion” and the year in which that abortion took place. Once she receives enough responses, she will create a cut-paper representation of each man’s name, to come together in an installation similar to Women’s Voices.

Immediately after reading this, I felt reactively defensive of women who have had abortions, and the fight for reproductive health care in general. I thought of women who didn’t know who the man involved in their pregnancy might be, and women whose partners had left them when they became pregnant. I thought of rape victims, whose attackers had no right to claim the woman’s choice to have an abortion as their own. I read this call for submissions as suggesting that men had an equal emotional investment in a woman’s abortion as she did. My thinking: the only men who can claim to have had abortions are trans men who did, literally, undergo the procedure.

I asked Lazzarini to clarify the project for me, so I might understand where she was coming from, as I suspected from her last project that she wouldn’t have inferred any of my assumptions intentionally.

“I don’t know that I’m trying to assign an equal emotional weight,” she explained when I raised my concerns, “because I don’t know that it ever could be [equal]. But I do think that it’s time that men were assigned half the equation of what happened. It’s not as if the woman did it by herself.”

Lazzarini’s point, then, isn’t that men (even men in committed heterosexual relationships) can claim to have been affected by a woman’s abortion the way she was, but that men should take part of the responsibility for a woman’s abortion. “If a baby’s born it gets the man’s name, but if a woman has an abortion, it’s hers. Things like that just aren’t right,” Lazzarini says

In a society that often stigmatizes women for having an abortion, Lazzarini has a point that it seldom stigmatizes the men who took equal part in the initial pregnancy. She says she sees men with “right to life” signs picketing health centers, and knows that if asked, they’ll say they have never had an abortion. But, according to Lazzarini, they can’t be sure of that. Women they have been with may have had an abortion without their knowledge, and she believes men should take responsibility for that.

“I don’t want to assign guilt or shame or anything to anybody. I just want to bring awareness to the fact that it’s not totally a woman’s issue,” she says. She adds that she has been “a pro-choicer” all her life.

What I took away from this, then, was that if women are going to be shamed for their abortions, Lazzarini believes it’s only fair that men realize their part in the process. The goal, then, would be to lessen the stigma against women who make that oftentimes difficult choice.

While I am personally still unsure how that message may come across in the installation, and unsure of my own feelings on the matter (as Lazzarini and I agreed, these are sticky subjects), I was gratified to know that my initial interpretation of the spirit of the project was wrong.

Lazzarini says she hopes to clarify her message as the project comes together, both for herself and for those who might contribute. “I think as it progresses it will get clearer and clearer to me how to do it. That’s what happened with Women’s Voices; it kept changing over time because I realized what people were thinking and what I wanted to say.”

If nothing else, the message behind this project got us talking, which is the point of art in the long run.

Those who wish to contribute to this project may contact Lazzarini at egoettes@hotmail.com, or submit through an online anonymous survey.

  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Manitou Art Center, Laura BenAmots seek submissions for socially conscious art

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 5:29 PM

BenAmots in her BAC studio, backed up by 'The Mask.' - WALT PALMER
  • Walt Palmer
  • BenAmots in her BAC studio, backed up by 'The Mask.'
Laura BenAmots has reached out to the Independent to properly credit her collaborators in Artists in Action. She’s working with Manitou Art Center artistic director and general manager Dustin Booth, local curator and artist Deena Bennett, local photographer and publisher Bill Young.

“Deena and I have been working closely and it has been amazing to shape the vision with these wonderful regional powerhouses,” she says.

———ORIGINAL POST 5:29 A.M. TUESDAY, JAN. 2, 2017———

Laura BenAmots
, currently the Artist in Residence at the Machine Shop, is no stranger to impactful art — recall her 2011 show, Battle Portraits, in which she interviewed and painted soldiers suffering from PTSD.

In an upcoming exhibit at the Manitou Art Center, she wants to show art lovers that she’s far from the only one in the region. She, as part of the national Rough Ruby Arts Collective, put out a call for submissions for an upcoming exhibition titled Artists in Action. It's set to show Friday, May 18, through Sunday, July 15, 2018.

“Intrinsic in changing the profile of the region is showcasing how vibrant and powerful the art scene is, and relevant,” she says. Artists in Action will collect socially minded, resistance-driven art on a variety of subject matters. BenAmots says she’s kept the exhibition open to all passion areas, rather than just one subject like homelessness, hunger or “the splatter in the White House,” to open it up to more artists.

In addition to the MAC exhibition, BenAmots says all pieces selected will be presented in a publication. Specifics on the form that publication will take are still in the works, but it’ll be distributed at the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region, as well as tourist attractions in the region. She also hopes to tour the exhibition, though that’s also up in the air.

The jury for the exhibit will be led by Joy Armstrong, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. Interested artists should submit their work by Saturday, Jan. 20 — check out the submission guidelines at the bottom of the page. Click here for the entry form.
artists_in_action_guidelines.jpg.opt760x983o0_0s760x983.jpg

  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, September 25, 2017

Converge Lecture Series brings big names and big ideas to the Springs

Posted By on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 2:47 PM

Poet Marie Howe will present Converge Lecture Series' first lecture on Oct. 1
  • Poet Marie Howe will present Converge Lecture Series' first lecture on Oct. 1
Samuel Stephenson, founder of the Converge Lecture Series, says that in this “season of American history,” hostility can discourage meaningful conversation. The goal of the series is to bring artists and authors to our local community to discuss topics spanning political, educational and spiritual disciplines, generating genuine discussion.

“I think that artists have an ability to spark real conversation that’s [more] nuanced than conversation I’m seeing happening right now,” Stephenson says.

The series will bring nationally recognized thinkers to Colorado Springs to give quarterly lectures, with occasional locally focused speaking events. This year, each speaker will address the topic of moral beauty.

“I’m interested in the question [of moral beauty] because it’s an ethical question and an aesthetics question,” Stephenson says. “Can you have ethical action that is pleasing or beautiful?”

The first speaker in the series, poet Marie Howe, will give her lecture at the Pinery at the Hill on Oct. 1, setting the stage for the following speakers in 2018: George Saunders (Feb. 4), Richard Blanco (May 6), Junot Díaz (Aug. 5) and Edwidge Danticat (Nov. 4).

Stephenson says that he and his board selected these speakers for the range of diverse disciplines, perspectives and opinions they represent. “My hope is that the topic and the speakers have a significant enough range and broad enough ideas that it can bring a lot of different viewpoints to the table,” he says.

He hopes that keeping the topic open-ended — and removing focus from hot-button issues like immigration and abortion — can “create room for a lot of values to come together in the same room, and maybe [we can] learn how to practice disagreement in a meaningful way.”

In a way, the Converge Lecture Series is meant to facilitate the convergence of ideas, though its title actually comes from a short story by Flannery O’Connor: Everything that Rises Must Converge.

“Her idea behind that,” Stephenson says, “was all good things come together in time, even seeming opposites.”

See below for more about the series’ upcoming presenters:

Marie Howe - October 1, 2017
Marie Howe is the author of four volumes of poetry, Magdalene: Poems; The Kingdom of Ordinary Time; The Good Thief; and What the Living Do, and she is the co-editor of a book of essays, In the Company of My Solitude: American Writing from the AIDS Pandemic. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, Agni, Ploughshares, Harvard Review, and The Partisan Review, among others. She has been a fellow at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College and a recipient of NEA and Guggenheim fellowships, and Stanley Kunitz selected Howe for a Lavan Younger Poets Prize from the American Academy of Poets. In 2015, she received the Academy of American Poets Poetry Fellowship which recognizes distinguished poetic achievement. From 2012-2014, she served as the Poet Laureate of New York State.

George Saunders - February 4, 2018
George Saunders has published over twenty short stories and numerous Shouts & Murmurs in The New Yorker since first appearing in the magazine, in 1992. His work includes the short-story collections “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline” (a finalist for the 1996 PEN/Hemingway Award), “Pastoralia,” “In Persuasion Nation” (a finalist for the Story Prize), “Tenth of December” (a finalist for the National Book Award and recipient of the Folio Prize), “Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness,” and “Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel.” Saunders has won prizes for his best-selling children’s book, “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip,” and for a book of essays entitled “The Braindead Megaphone,” and he has been featured in the “O. Henry Prize Stories,” “Best American Short Stories,” “Best American Nonrequired Reading,” “Best American Travel Writing,” and “Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy” anthologies. Named by The New Yorker one of the best American writers under the age of forty in 1999, Saunders has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Richard Blanco - May 6, 2018
Richard Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in US history—the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban-exiled parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. He is the author of three poetry collections: Looking for the Gulf Motel, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and City of a Hundred Fires; and two memoirs: The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey. The University of Pittsburgh Press has published the commemorative chapbooks One Today, Boston Strong, and Matters of the Sea, the last of which Blanco read at the historic reopening of the US Embassy in Havana. In 2015, the inaugural poem One Today was released as a children’s book, in collaboration with the renowned illustrator, Dav Pilkey.

Junot Díaz - August 5, 2018
JUNOT DÍAZ was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. He is the co-founder of the Voices of Our National Arts Foundation. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and a Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at MIT. His forthcoming book, Islandborn, will be released by Dial in the spring of 2018.

Edwidge Danticat - November 4, 2018

Edwidge Danticat is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist, and The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner, and the novel-in-stories, The Dew Breaker. She is the editor of The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Diaspora in the United States and The Beacon Best of 2000: Great Writing by Men and Women of All Colors and Cultures, Haiti Noir and Haiti Noir 2, and Best American Essays 2011. She has written six books for young adults and children, Anacaona, Golden Flower, Behind the Mountains, Eight Days, The Last Mapou, Mama’s Nightingale, and Untwine, as well as a travel narrative, After the Dance, A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel. Her memoir , Brother, I’m Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. Her most recent book, The Art of Death: Writing the Final Story was published by Graywolf Press in July 2017. She is a 2009 MacArthur Fellow.

  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Friday, May 12, 2017

UPDATE: Tiny House Jamboree to leave Colorado Springs

Posted By on Fri, May 12, 2017 at 5:24 PM

COURTESY ECOCABINS
  • Courtesy EcoCabins
The National Tiny House Jamboree updated its website today with an announcement on where the event will be moving, as well as a new partnership.

The organizers have joined forces with Reed Exhibitions, who boasts of producing more than 500 events in 30 countries, attracting 7 million people in 2016.

And this year's jamboree will now take place in Arlington, Texas from October 27 to 29.

There's a lengthy explanation of "why Arlington" on the site, related partly to it being "a hotspot for the Tiny House movement" as well as "having the resources to handle this expanding event."

Both educational programming and the amount of vendors and houses will expand as well.

For those needing to change travel plans or get tickets refunded, the organizers have also provided info on those details.

We spoke with Darin Zaruba, President of EcoCabins and the founding sponsor of the jamboree to talk more broadly about the impact of the event leaving, as well as the state of affairs for tiny homes in Colorado Springs.

His best guess — and it is a guess, since his organizers were unable to do an official study during the first two years of the event — is that on the low end of economic impact it brought between $1 and $2 million to town, if not upwards of $5 million.

He says Air Force Academy folks who assisted with last year's event reported attendance in excess of 60,000 people over the weekend. Hotels in a wide radius were sold out, as were such things as ice machines, he says. Impact would of course factor in restaurant and bar sales and other periphery expenditures from both locals and tourists.

We'll share more of our chat with Zaruba in next week's paper, particularly his thoughts on what's needed for C. Springs to become more progressive and tiny home friendly.

—— ORIGINAL POST: 5:26 P.M., THURSDAY MAY 4 ——-

Despite Colorado Springs now being home to tiny home builders like EcoCabins and Tumbleweed Tiny Homes, the largest tiny home manufacturer in the U.S., it has never really been poised to be the "tiny housing 'capital of America'" as this Gazette article would have us believe.

While more progressive cities like Portland are testing programs such as tiny houses for the homeless, the Springs relegates them to RV parks, with building and zoning requirements not currently allowing for them to gain a foothold inside the city as residences.

As we detailed in our article last year on a program calling for a similar solution as Portland's, here's the central problem:
There's a way around minimum square footage requirements if you build the home on wheels, call it an RV and register it with the state through the DMV. But then you run up against another pesky roadblock: You can't live out of an RV parked on a residential lot as a permanent residence.
Regarding regulations and tiny homes, there's a lot you need to know, city by city.

What's especially going to not make the Springs the tiny home capital of anything is news that we're now losing the Tiny House Jamboree. This is a popular annual event in August each year that was reported to draw more than 50,000 visitors last year.

Here's the beginning of what they have on their website:
We have very exciting news coming over the next few days, with even bigger plans for the future! As this movement and industry continue to explode, it is clear our grassroots event was getting too big for Colorado Springs, the venue, or our Jamboree group to handle alone. Therefore, we are postponing the dates, changing the venue, adding professional resources, and have temporarily suspended ticket sales and vendor registration. Check on our website on our Facebook page or newsletter for information. We will post updates as soon as they are available.
And a little more on their Facebook page:
Doug Price, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, says he's unable to gauge an accurate economic impact on what losing the Jamboree means. The calculators used for such data need inputs such as how many attendees came from out of the area and stayed the night in hotel rooms, etc. It's not data his office has for this event.

We have reached out to the organizers of the Jamboree for more information and will update this posting if we receive any.

What Price did feel comfortable saying, was that if somehow all of those 50,000-plus weekend attendees were only locals (they weren't) economic impact would still exceed $60,000 a day, bare minimum.

We aren't in the guessing game here at the Indy, either, but we'd feel comfortable wagering that the event probably carried an impact well into the six digits, if not low millions. It's a shame to lose it.
  • Favorite

Tags: , ,

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Local March for Science blasts off on Saturday

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 1:00 AM

thelist.jpg
Those who have been keeping track of the Colorado Springs March for Science know it has run into a few roadblocks, but thanks to local support and some quick work by passionate organizations, the rally is a go.

Ryan Barry, executive director of Unite Colorado Springs, says that as soon as the event was canceled on Facebook, members of their organization — and plenty others — spoke up, making it clear that they wanted a local march.

So, Unite Colorado Springs and nine other local groups (including Colorado Springs Feminists, Keep Colorado Green and the Independent, to name a few) made it happen.

The March for Science, for those unfamiliar with the concept, will be a satellite march of the national (and international: tinyurl.com/intl-sci-marches) action to celebrate science, speak out against false information, and support scientists working to educate, enrich and evolve society.

"We're in an era of anti-intellectualism, anti-science," Barry says. "We see an enormous amount of climate change denial; we see increased pushes for getting creationism in schools, and it's absolutely critical that we remember that science has always played a critical role in a free society, in democracy."

Rather than having one particular political bent, this event plans to be multi-partisan, and to be positive — a celebration rather than a condemnation, though the importance of speaking out against pseudo-science will certainly be addressed.

Barry says science denial comes from all sides, anti-vaxers (those against vaccines) on the left and climate change denial on the right. He adds that we as a society should be critical of any politician, celebrity or organization that pushes pseudo-science.

Along with a wide range of speakers — from activists to scientists — and hopefully a little live music, the rally will also include a jaunt downtown to show off signs and show solidarity with the scientific community.

"It's critical that scientists come outside the labs, outside the journals, and involve themselves in the community. Because they're just as much a part of the community as the rest of us," Barry says.

April 22, noon to 3 p.m., City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave., facebook.com/unitecoloradosprings.
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Monday, April 3, 2017

Manitou Art Center seeks entries for a free speech focused exhibit

Posted By on Mon, Apr 3, 2017 at 12:50 PM

screen_shot_2013-10-28_at_3.43.24_pm.png
In times of political and cultural upheaval, art becomes an avenue for expression and resistance. Recently, our community has responded to the challenges of the times with multiple exhibitions and performances, such as Tim Gill Center’s Healing Wall Exhibition, which provided an artistic outlet in the aftermath of the presidential election; and The Millibo Art Theatre’s Cabaret Voltaire, which was meant to encourage performers to express themselves in a Dada-esque tradition through performance art of all kinds.

Now, The Manitou Art Center will unveil an exciting new, ongoing exhibition that will allow all members of the community to visually represent their freedom of expression, whatever it is they wish to express.

The First Amendment Gallery is unlike most MAC shows because it will accept submissions from anyone, members and non-members alike, in order to encourage artistic dialog from all corners of the community.

The call for entries states: “Submissions do not have to be political in nature, nor do they need to be consistent with the prevailing theme of the show. If you so choose, please feel free to let this show be a forum to stimulate discourse into the nature of personal freedom, and your ability to put forth your opinions without fear of rebuke.”

Portions of the gallery will rotate regularly to keep up with whatever rapid changes occur in our society, and to showcase reactions to those changes. The only restriction to The First Amendment Gallery is that work be “hate-free.”

The first intake for The First Amendment Gallery will be April 5, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., then on Wednesdays June 7, Aug. 2, Oct. 4 and Dec. 6. The show is not formally juried and all are welcome to submit their work.

  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , ,

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

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.

  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Recent Comments

All content © Copyright 2018, The Colorado Springs Independent

Website powered by Foundation