Zapatista portrait by Denise Beaudet

Portrait of the Zapatista Women by Denise Beaudet

"Roots to Resistance" Exhibit & Fundraiser at Gallery in the Woods

Denise Beaudet with portraits

Denise Beaudet with portraits

The "Roots to Resistance" art and activism project involves:

• Creation of large-format painted Portraits of 12 International Women Activists who are doing (or who have done) profoundly important, risky, and earthshaking work on the planet: Natalia Estemirova, Malalai Joya, Chouchou Namegabe, The Zapatista Women, Rebecca Gomperts, Wangari Maathai, Aung San Suu Kyi, Yvonne Margarula, Razan Ghazzawi, Frances Crowe, Shireen Issawi, and slain Honduran activist Berta Cáceres.

• Development of 12 Global Postcard and Street Postering Campaigns which send copies of project materials across the Planet via more than 70 International Partner Organizations.

• Local and Global Community Art Performances using all of the above elements and including the voices of a dozen community women reading the words of the 12 project activists.

• Establishing a league of International Partner Organizations to promote the telling of the histories and work of these 12 activists, as well as to support and promote the work being done within the Partner Organizations themselves.

These 12 amazing women were chosen on the basis of the diversity of issues they are addressing as well as the balanced diversity of the places they are working from. Some work inside established social and political systems, some are fighting for democracy, some are Socialists, and some seek to find completely new systems. Most important, they were chosen because of the profoundly important work they are doing in world communities and their ability to awaken and inspire us all.

The "Roots To Resistance" public art project, created by artist and activist Denise Beaudet, receives non-profit status through fiscal sponsorship by A.P.E., a non-profit arts organization in Northampton, Massachusetts. Using the activities listed above, the project intends to spread and amplify the voices and visibility of the women it celebrates but is also meant to bring inspiration and opportunity for others to become engaged citizens in their own communities. Their portraits are intended to share a sense of the intensity, connection, strength, and deep emotional space that is required to do the work they do, thus inspiring viewers to imagine themselves stepping forward to make change in their own Communities.

The project's mission has three major components:

• To bring attention to these 12 women activists and the profoundly important work they are doing in local and global communities. This work often puts them at great risk, so one project goal is to shine a protective light on them so that people around the World are connected to the women, paying attention and raising voices if they are harmed, jailed, or mistreated.

• To combat feelings of disconnection and hopelessness in communities across the globe by inspiring people to believe in their abilities to make and affect change. The portraits and postcards serve to remind people of the importance of our symbiotic relationship with all of the other living partners on this planet. One of the core beliefs of this project is that true change, connection, and activism cannot flourish without a deep love and symbiotic link to our natural world.

• To find a way to get real resources into the hands of the women activists and their organizations. All 12 of the larger-than-life-sized portraits will be offered for purchase in an international auction where 50% of the funds raised will go to the women and their organizations. This auction will bring the project full circle.

Visitors to Gallery in the Woods will be able to make donations to the "Roots to Resistance" cause. Follow the project's Facebook page for updates and opportunities:

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