FEMINIST FRIDAY: “Now Is Her Time” – Underrepresented Women Sharing Their Stories

Welcome to another Feminist Friday column! That time of the week where we kick back and get tuned into a handful of our fave videos of the moment, centered around a feminist theme. This week we’re focusing on underrepresented women using various mediums and genres to share their stories.

First up, a short documentary from social impact production company Optimist, titled ‘Las Fotos’. The film is all about a photography project of the same name in East LA for young women of color living in underserved communities. Young Guatemalan women connected with their indigenous heritage through photojournalism focused on Mayan women in LA. Along with them sharing their culture with each other and the world through their photography, these young women are also empowering each other to raise their voice and share their stories unapologetically. We love this!

“Las Fotos Project’s mission is to elevate the voices of teenage girls from communities of color. Through the lens of photography, students capture moments that inspire them and others to critically examine the world around them and to become agents of change; channeling their creativity for the benefit of themselves, their community, and future careers,” says the description on the photography website.

The second video is a trailer for director/writer Kirill Mikhanovsky’s ‘Give Me Liberty’, starring Lauren “Lolo” Spencer, Chris Galust, and Maksim Stoyanov. Released in NYC on Aug 23 and in LA on Aug 30th, the film first screened at the Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival to rousing reception and review.

Based on his personal experience as a medical transport driver and an immigrant, director Kirill Mikhanovsky, with writer Alice Austen, create a raw feature film about the comedy and heartbreak of people in the underprivileged communities living in a struggling American city.  
Medical transport driver Vic (newcomer Chis Galust) is running late, but it’s not his fault. Roads are closed for a protest, and no one else can shuttle his Russian grandfather and his emigre friends to a funeral. The new route uproots his scheduled clients, particularly Tracy (Lauren “Lolo” Spencer in a breakout performance), a vibrant young woman with ALS. As the day goes from hectic to off-the-rails, their collective ride becomes a hilarious, compassionate and intersectional portrait of American dreams and disenchantment. 

Lolo is a disability lifestyle influencer, actress, model, public speaker and content creator with her own YouTube channel titled “Sitting Pretty”. “Sitting Pretty” is a series she created to showcase her life as a woman who uses a wheelchair. Her vlogs discuss a range of topics from disability fashion tutorials, everyday challenges dealing with society, dating, and her ALS diagnosis journey. Lolo has been featured in popular media outlets like HuffPost, Buzzfeed, All Def Digital, and has modeled in multiple campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive. GIVE ME LIBERTY is her first feature film role.

Our final video this week is a new campaign from Adidas called ‘Now Is Her Time’ – a fitting tagline to what we are seeing culturally, globally, politically and socially. Launched in collaboration with Pharrell Williams for adidas Originals, the video is told from the point of view of females from different backgrounds and the allies who support them.

Honing in on the zeitgeist of our times, Now Is Her Time is a call to action for the 21st century. The campaign utilizes Pharrell’s platform to amplify the voices of women making waves across a number of issues and perspectives. The women featured range from activists to artists and the topics they champion are rooted in gender, sexuality, sexual rights, race, and equality, according to a press statement.

The campaign is lensed by legendary photographer Collier Schorr, whose portfolio of work explores the themes of gender, sexuality, and identity. Featuring changemakers such as Patrisse Cullors, community organizer and co-founder of Black Lives Matter; Nadya Okamoto, nonprofit leader and founder of period.org; singer-songwriter Syd; writer, director and broadcaster Reggie Yates; architectural technologist Iddris Sandu; surfer Keala Naihe; filmmaker and human rights activist Sunny; models Isabela Rangel Grutman, Sara Cummings , Kadija Diawara; and dancers Sheena Cain and Sophia Parker. ‘Now Is Her Time’ collection will be available August 31, 2019 at adidas flagship stores, Foot Locker, select retailers, and online.

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