At the beginning of this year, Nicole Touchet of Galerie Touchet approached me about organizing an event in Lafayette to stand in solidarity with the Women's March on January 21st. Our shared goal turned into creating an artistic happening where we could bring awareness to issues we care about while creating a comfortable place for local artists and activists to come together and express our views through art-making. Almost immediately, our new artist-activism group Femme Puissance was named, and we had the concept for our first event on January 21st: Painting Panties for Protection.
During the event, Lafayette artists and activists joined together to organize in solidarity with the Women’s March on D.C. by creating protest posters and painting on over-sized undergarments to draw attention to women’s issues. Drawing on the concepts of Dadaism, we aimed to use absurdity and humor to parallel the illogical nature of America’s current charged sociopolitical climate. Whose to say you can't have humor in activism?
The event turned out to be a great success! During the first half of the event, we opened up Gallery 333 to artists and activists to join us in painting the pieces and protest signs as we live-streamed the speakers from the Women's March on D.C. Since it turned out to be a beautiful day, we decided to have some fun and close the event by walking down along the sidewalk to Parc San Souci of Downtown Lafayette to the "Y Lafayette" sculpture to hang up our panties and take some photos together. Along the way, we cheered and chanted "My Body, My Rules" and "Women's Rights are Human Rights".
Here are some photos from the event courtesy of Olivia Perillo:
Today we hosted our second day of action as Femme Puissance. We got a group of concerned constituents together and wrote letters to our representatives. Nicole and I also designed a postcard we will be printing soon and giving to people who would like to write their representatives in the future.
Femme Puissance has been a great way to connect with people through activism and artistry so far in Lafayette. Here's to more connectivity to come! <3