Meet the new Ladies of Liberty on this week’s #FreeSpeechFriday.
If you haven’t already indulged in the latest social justice campaign by street art legend Shepard Fairey, here is an overview. (Free download link included!)
The “We The People” series strikes resemblance to the Obey brand creator’s blue and red HOPE poster used throughout former President Obama’s 2008 campaign. This time around, the faces pictured are those of feminine strength and resilience. Partnering with The Amplifier Foundation and other artists and photographers on the project, these images were originally published as full-page spreads in the Washington Post newspaper, as billboards at D.C. Metro train stations, and most notably on signs held by protesters on Inauguration Day 2017.
“The idea was to take back a lot of this patriotic language in a way that we see is positive and progressive, and not let it be hijacked by people who want to say that the American flag or American concepts only represent one narrow way of thinking.” -Fairey told PBS NewsHour
For those of us who were not in Washington on Jan. 20, this art crusade marches on as an expression of our freedom of speech and right to protest, as well as a symbol of solidarity with the more nurturing and compassionate future of this constitutionally free nation.
In fact, most people don’t know that the faithful French artist behind the design and full production of the beloved Statue of Liberty, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, was inspired by the colossal public monuments and Nubian figures of Egypt. The original Lady Liberty, also called The New Colossus, was initially made to stand at Port Saint, a city on the canal connecting Egypt to the Middle Eastern part of Europe. Lured only by more promising funding in America, the statue eventually found its home in New York, where she became the symbol of acceptance and opportunity in the New World.
Is there any difference between this iconic nurturing spirit and Fairey’s modern American flag-covered Muslim sister? It is no coincidence that welcoming gestures and inviting caretakers have been customarily associated with femininity throughout history – transcending cultural differences. It is our inherent feminine side that yearns to receive the lost and broken, with open arms, and foster them back to life.
The benefits and outcomes of this kind of mentality can already be seen. Perhaps you know someone, a friend or a parent, who took in a rescue animal or a child who was not theirs by blood, but who raised them and grew to love them as their own.
The future of the United States and its affairs with immigrants, refugees, and other countries is known only by time itself. For now we thank artists, advocates and free thinkers alike for always keeping us in deep reflection with the tool of free speech.
“There is a lot of division right now. Art… is healing and inclusive, whether topically it celebrates humanity, or whether it’s just compelling visuals to make a human connection.” -Shepard Fairey
You can now download the FREE official We The People high-resolution images here OR pledge $50 here to be donated to the campaign and receive a 2’X3’ poster of your favorite of the 5 images, PLUS a post card to the President AND a We The People sticker pack.