Tatyana Fazlalizadeh: Don’t Tell Me To Smile

When looking at art, it’s hard to fully understand what the intention behind a piece of artwork is, without looking at the artist. When women during the Baroque period began painting women filled with rage and disdain, how much of that was for the simple demand for art, and how much of that was a projection of themselves? Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh pondered this in her book “Stop Telling Women to Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We’re Taking Back Our Power.” She asked the Rumpus, “What would it look like to explore my identity within my artwork based not on what people have done to me based on those identities, but based instead on what I love and I celebrate within those identities?” The main focus of Fazlalizadeh’s book is sexual harassment against women, the project beginning in Brooklyn, where she is based. 

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