8th of March is International Women’s Day, a holiday that originated from Soviet Russia, where women gained suffrage in 1917 – and was later adopted by the United Nations. Ignored in most countries, it is still a national holiday in many Eastern European countries, Afghanistan, Cuba, Cambodia, Eritrea, Nepal, Zambia, Laos, China and Madagascar (where it’s only a holiday if you’re a woman!).
We live in an era where Amal Clooney was awesome way before she changed her surname, and Meghan Markle was famous way before she became a princess. To honor this day and remind ourselves of the long way women have come through the centuries, and especially of the fearless struggle of the last hundred years, we prepared a selection of stories and sources to get you inspired about being a woman, loving a woman, or raising one.
Peggy Guggenheim – a pioneer of life
Marguerite “Peggy” Guggenheim was an American art collector, bohemian and socialite. A daughter of a Titanic victim, an artist’s wife, a resident of Venice, one of the first women to try plastic surgery, her own museum curator, a lover of dogs and art. She lived, loved and collected like no one before. Check out “Art Addict”, a 2015 documentary on her life that will leave you in awe, guaranteed.
Manal al-Sharif – a modern hero
Manal al-Sharif threw the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into disarray when she posted a video of herself driving on social media. She was thrown in jail for 9 days but kicked off a movement that resulted in the conservative country reversing its laws to allow women to drive earlier this year. Being also an IT specialist, she made it onto the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech list by Forbes. Read here sincere and far from glamorous Vogue interview to know more.
Elena Ferrante – a master of female friendship
Elena Ferrante is still to unveil her identity to the world, but we love her anyway. Her four-book series of Neapolitan Novels is a raw, fragile and powerful tale of female friendship – through time, men, children and success. To get a glimpse of her literary talent and wisdom, have a look at her column in The Guardian.
Alma Mahler – a muse
Mistress to a long succession of brilliant men, Alma Mahler married three of the best known: the composer Gustav Mahler, the architect Walter Gropius, and the writer Franz Werfel. Don’t be too quick to judge and get to your own conclusion by reading up on her.
Sama Abdulhadi – the DJ who brought techno to Palestine
We’ll just leave this here. DJ Sama doing the best of what she does – bringing people, any people, together.
Get a rather accurate and emotional portrayal of the suffragette that lives in each of us by Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep in this cinematic masterpiece from 2015.
Book: “Daily Rituals: Women at Work” by Mason Currey
An astonishing collection of creative habits of 143 female artists, from Isadora Duncan to Zadie Smith, from Frida Kahlo to Virginia Woolf – on how they painted, wrote, danced, smoked, slept and ate. Intimate and weird, it makes you feel a lot less alone in the world that so often adds too much glamour to the creative process.
TED Talks: on feminism
Aside from Ted’s brilliant collection of feminist-themed talks, here is an eye-opening favorite. Yassmin Abdel-Magied was born in Sudan, moved to Australia when she was a child and trained as a mechanical engineer. She wears many hats, including a hijab – and will smash right through your prejudice in this funny and sincere talk about stereotypes.
.ART is proud to have strong women adopters: Marina Abramovic – one of the most famous feminist artists of our time; Shantell Martin – a badass visual artist with a unique style; Martha Fiennes – a film director, writer and producer, whose moving picture www.yugen.art became the first art object to be registered on Art Records; Portia Rossi – the founder of www.generalpublic.art project; Sogand – a singer who combines her Farsi heritage and German upbringing in a fascinating way; and many others.
From all of us at .ART we wish you a happy International Women’s Day. Go get your women some flowers – on this day, even the most hardcore feminist won’t mind!