A personal account of a photographer's commitment to using art to empower women and make their voices heard.
As a photographer I want to do something more than
just take beautiful pictures. I have powerful tools: my camera, my perception
and my dedicated team with whom I have founded W.E. ART - Women Empowerment Through Art. W.E. Art is an art initiative whose mission is to raise
awareness of the importance of women in today’s society and to empower women through the
art of photography. The art project comprises of several stages and involves the exchange
of visual messages between Ukraine and other countries in order to have a debate on the women’s place in the contemporary world.
During the first stage of the art project we conducted a photographic investigation of women's inspirational stories in Ukraine and Morocco. We plan to subsequently organise exhibitions, in both countries, to prove that regardless of background, religion, traditions and culture all women are inspirational.
We have now finished our work on the part of the project in Ukraine during which we have made many interesting discoveries. While looking for inspiring women, we haven’t been interested in businesswomen, female politicians or superstars, because they are already known in the society. We have been interested in women who quietly inspire the world and people around them, very often even without realising it.
At first we contacted our friends living in various cities in order to find some inspirational women for our project. It was difficult to start with, but it soon became clear to us what to do and how to work. We started to meet women from various cities and villages, who wanted to share their stories with us. Most of them wouldn’t admit they are truly inspirational. It might be due to their strong feeling of modesty and humility. While talking to them, we were so amazed with their lives and with the things they do, and with every meeting we have gained more and more inspiration for our work.
We have met women who inspired us in various ways. There are women who are activists and want to make a change in the society, do volunteering, and accept challenges to support the country. Some others have to deal with challenging situations and obstacles in their lives, however because of their strong will, they’re still kind-hearted and inspirational. There is a girl who got over two serious illnesses to become a singer, dancer and administrator of chorus, who represents Ukraine in international cultural contests. There are women who initiate and organise charity activities to support soldiers who are defending Ukraine in the eastern part of the country. Some of them are mothers of wonderful children who, through their happy and harmonious motherhood, inspire others to have kids. There are doctors, beauty experts, grandmothers and young girls in our project and they are all truly inspirational.
The biggest discovery of our work is that we don’t need to look for inspiring women. Everyone has something to inspirational about them. We can't wait to share their beautiful portraits with the world, portraits which tell a story about these inspirational women and their lives, without saying a word.
Soon we will organise an exhibition in Ukraine, but before that can happen W.E. Art has to take another step. We’re about to start working on the project in wonderful country - the Kingdom of Morocco. We are going to meet artists, writers, mothers, sisters, activists there and we are very much excited about this.
There have been situations when we thought we weren’t doing anything interesting or special, but people have said to us that it is quite important to know about these women and become inspired by them.
We believe that the W.E. Art initiative will have a positive influence and impact on accepting and appreciating women's achievements in today's world.