STWTS (Stop Telling Women To Smile) is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, a black/Iranian visual artist (illustrator and painter) native of Oklahoma City. She is mostly known for her oil paintings, and recently branched out as a muralist/street artist for this series.
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, currently based in Brooklyn, uses visual art to address the daily oppressive experiences of marginalized people. The STWTS series started in the fall of 2012 in Brooklyn and is an ongoing series with posters all over the world.
Street harassment is a serious issue affecting women all over the world. For this project the artist talked to various women and non-binary people about their experience with street harassment, as we can see from this short 6 minute viedo, which explains the project in the artist’s own words.
Stop Telling Women To Smile was born out of the idea that street art can be an impactful tool for tackling street harassment. By taking these women’s faces and voices and placing them on posters in the street, the artist wanted to create a bold presence of these women in an environment where they are often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
The STWTS poster series can now be seen in Canada, France, Mexico, Germany amongst other countries. The posters are available for download, on the artist’s official website, for whoever wishes to bring and share this project in their country, and fight for women against street harassment.
Love to read and want to find out more about the women behind the faces of these posters, check out her book Stories of Street Harassment and How We’re Taking Back Our Power – Stop Telling Women To Smile, now available on Amazon.
Translated by Ludovica Sarti
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