The 'Stop Telling Women To Smile' anti-street harassment campaign goes to Mexico
If you’re not familiar with Brooklyn-based artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, you should be. In 2012, she started a series called Stop Telling Women to Smile, that documents the way that women deal with street harassment.
Fazlalizadeh began interviewing women around her neighborhood about their experiences with catcalling, and drawing portraits of them along with their message to their harassers. Those ranged from “my outfit is not an invitation” to “You are not entitled to my space.”
“I’m putting a face to these words,” she wrote on her website. “It’s not just ‘hey, street harassment is bad.’ You actually get to see this person’s face, this woman’s face, who goes through it daily.”
Fazlalizadeh’s powerful project was successful enough that she decided to bring it to other cities in the U.S., from Atlanta to Baltimore. And recently, she went even farther afield. In a new piece for Fusion, Fazlalizadeh took a six-day trip to Mexico City, where she talked to women about the way that street harassment operates there.
“I wanted to find out: What do women in Mexico City go through?” Fazlalizadeh said in a video. “What are their stories? How’s what they experience different from what I experience?”
The project, which was documented by Anna Holmes, is titled All the Time. Every Day, which gives you a pretty good idea of how intense the problem is down there. In a series of video interviews, with everyone from police to students, the project gives a portrait of how pervasive and invasive street harassment is in Mexico City. It’s worth your time to check out this beautiful, moving account of a problem that women experience worldwide.