Roots To Resistance
A Global Art & Activism Campaign
Twelve Women Activists : Twelve Portraits

The Roots To Resistance Art and Activism Project Is The Creation Of:

Large scale, 8 foot high, painted portraits of 12 International Women Activists doing profoundly important, risky and earthshaking work on the Planet.

12 Global Postcard and Street Postering Campaigns which are printed and sent across the Planet via more than 70 International Partner Organizations.

Local and Global Community Art performances which use all of the above elements and include the voices of 12 Community Women reading the words of the 12 Activists.

A league of International Partner Organizations which promote the telling of the histories and work of these 12 Activists, as well as supporting and promoting the work being done within the collection of Partner Organizations themselves.

Why these 12 Women

These 12 amazing Women were chosen on the basis of the diversity of issues they were addressing as well as the balanced diversity of the places they were working from. Some of the Women work inside of established Social and Political systems, some are fighting for Democracy, some are Socialists, and some seek to find completely new systems. Most importantly these Women were chosen because of the profoundly critical, important and earthshaking work they are doing in World Communities and their amazing ability to awaken and inspire us all.

Who We Are

Roots To Resistance is a Public Art project created by Artist and Activist Denise Beaudet, which receives non profit status through fiscal sponsorship with A.P.E., a local nonprofit Art Organization in Northampton Massachusetts. We are sharing the stories, voices, and critically important work of 12 International Women Activists, with people and Communities across the entire Globe using: large scale painted portraits (4x8 foot), Global Postcards, Street Postering Campaigns and traveling Community installations and performances. The project intends to bring voice and visibility to these Women, but to also bring inspiration and the opportunity for others to become engaged citizens in their own communities. The Portraits are being created to bring a sense of the Women themselves and a sense of the intensity, connection, strength and deep emotional space that it requires to do the work that they do. These Portraits are being painted and displayed with the intention of creating a connection for the viewer, to these beautiful, profoundly courageous Women. By creating a connection to these 12 Women we hope that we have created a pathway to the work, issues and Communities where they are making such profound changes, and an opportunity for people to imagine themselves stepping forward to make change in their own Communities.

Our Mission!

  • To bring attention to these 12 Women Activists and the profoundly important work they are doing in local and Global Communities. This work often puts them at great risk, so we also want to shine a protective light on them so that people around the World are connected to the Women, paying attention and raising voices if they are harmed, jailed or mistreated.

  • To combat feelings of disconnection and hopelessness in Communities across the Globe by inspiring people to believe in their abilities to make and affect change. This project does not seek to change laws, policies or current political administrations. It seeks instead to help people feel they can face hard issues and subjects, so that instead of feeling overwhelmed and turning away from an issue such as sexual violence in the Congo, they can be educated about the truth and pass that on to others. Once people feel connected, educated, inspired and engaged, they are then in a position to take further action inside of their own Communities. Through the Art, Postcards, Street Posters as well as the faces, voices and stories of these 12 Women, we are inviting people into that engagement and Activism.

  • The painted Portraits and Postcards created for Roots To Resistance focus on giving these 12 Activists the strength of partnership with all things nature. They serve to remind people of the importance of our symbiotic relationship with all of the other living partners on this Planet. One of the core beliefs of this project is that true change, connection, and activism cannot flourish without a deep love and symbiotic link to our Natural World. We believe that with this connection, these movements and these Women are unstoppable and this sacred concept is perhaps the most important one of our time.

What Roots To Resistance Has Done So Far!

We have completed the first 6 Portraits of: Natalia Estemirova, Malalai Joya, Chouchou Namegabe, The Zapatista Women, Rebecca Gomperts and Wangari Maathai. The Portraits are then installed with the Postcards, Street Posters and other materials, in Community spaces where people from all walks of life can connect locally with the People and issues of the greater Global World.

We have created 6 Global Postcard and Street Postering Campaigns featuring the work and words of 6 of the 12 Women Activists. Over 10,000 Postcards and Posters were printed, translated into the necessary languages and sent across the Globe, reaching people in places like Fiji, New Zealand, Afghanistan, South Africa, Portugal, Serbia, Australia, Iceland, Mexico, US, Northern Canada and many dozens more.

We have created partnerships with 80+ Community and Non Profit Organizations across the Globe. We partnered with larger Organizations such as the Greenbelt Movement, AWID and World Pulse and small Grassroots Orgs such as the Fiji Women's Rights movement, ActWomen Serbia and Sacred Land Film Project of Berkeley. These are Partnerships with Grassroots Organizations from across the Planet who bring the voices and concerns of these 12 Women Activists into their Communities by joining our Global Postcard Campaigns. In return we share their work, alerts and campaigns on our website, blog and Social Networking sites completing the circle of Education, Connection and Partnership.

Created 4 Local Roots To Resistance Performances by partnering with 12 local Women who presented the words and stories of the 12 Women Activists alongside the completed Portraits, Postcards and Street Posters.

Phase 2: The Future Of Roots To Resistance

When the creation period of Roots To Resistance has concluded, with the 12 Portraits painted and the 12 Postcards and Street Postering Campaigns implemented, we will be ready to bring all aspects of this Project out into the World where it can make real impacts.

It is expected that in the Fall of 2014 Roots To Resistance will begin preparing for an extended tour which will bring the Portraits, Postcards, Street Posters and interactive programs to Communities and Public venues across the United States. The entire Project is to be installed in a converted tour bus which will bring the Women, Art, and Stories to people from all parts of the Country.

By creating a mobile gallery we gain the profoundly important ability to bring these Women Activists to people outside of traditional gallery spaces and University lecture halls. We can bring the Roots To Resistance tour bus to a diversity of venues including Schools, Parks, Farmers Markets, VFW's and Walmart parking lots. Our particular focus will be on places where working class people will feel invited to climb aboard. We don't want to limit the scope of this project by bringing it only to places where we can expect people to support us and these Women. We also want to take Roots To Resistance to places where people may initially be uneasy about these issues or perhaps even disagree and feel unsure about the Women and their campaigns. We want to bring the Art and the humanity of these 12 Women to people wherever they are, whatever their opinions, so we can learn from the Communities we meet, document all that we see and hear, and inspire those we visit to be connected to these Women and the greater Globe. We feel the power of this tour and project can be found here, in recognizing and documenting the important discussions and disagreements of those who climb on board with questions, as much as with those who are excited and inspired by what they see.

We want to invite people to be inspired by and engaged in the Global Stories, Histories and challenges of World Communities instead of feeling separated and overwhelmed by them. To do this we will be inviting them to climb aboard and step into an exhibit to face twelve 8 foot high Portraits of profoundly imposing, important, earthshaking Women and their individual narratives in which issues, resistance movements, and strong feelings are conveyed through Art and interaction instead of reporting, news, or lengthy dialogues. We will provide the Histories and Storylines of the Activists, their Communities, and their resistance work, and set them to the backdrop of the Painted Portraits. This, combined with the immediate impacts of the Postcard and Street Posters that we provide to all who visit the exhibit will offer people tangible ways to stay active after they leave the exhibit. Our experience has been that by offering the stories and materials in this manner we have inspired people to be engaged, informed and connected in ways that feel manageable for them while at the same time inviting them to step into that role as empowered, connected and Active people.

In closing, I would like to say the ultimate goal of this project has always been to effect how individual people feel about their own abilities to be engaged World Citizens. This project seeks to restore belief in the concept that our actions, even our tiniest actions, have a profound importance in the World and especially for each of us. Roots To Resistance believes that being an engaged citizen, having a profound investment in being connected with and informed about the greater World, its People, challenges, Resistance Movements and triumphs, is the path to our best future.

If you are interested in helping to support this work please visit our support page.

To join us in raising your own voice and the voices of these Women please contact us!

--Denise Beaudet


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