Street Heroines is about the courage and creativity of female graffiti and street artists around the world. First off, I love the title. It’s smart and immediately grabbed my attention. Who doesn’t want to watch a film about heroines?! And once I clicked play on the video and saw that it was directed by Alexandra Henry, I was sold. A female filmmaker, producer, and editor turning her lens to cool chicks challenging the status quo in their professional lives and changing the world through art? Check, Check. Check!
Street art has been the topic of many documentaries, the most notable being the fantastic Exit Through the Giftshopby renowned street artist Banksy. That film introduced me to street art as more than just expression; it’s a medium for social justice. It taught me to see art not just in a museum, gallery walls, or a movie theater, but to look up and see art and expression everywhere. Ultimately, art shouldn’t just exist in closed spaces for select people to view. Public art is a form of community. It memorializes, it speaks out, it reflects our values, it beautifies.
On a recent trip to Cartagena, I learned about the true history of the independence of the city from Spain, not from the tall marble statues or plaques that covered every plaza in the small town, but from graffiti art in Gethsemane. Gethsemane is the quickly gentrifying neighborhood that dedicated a wall to depictions of Pedro Romero, the man who led the fight for the independence of Cartagena, but goes unmentioned in history books because he was a free man of African descent in one of the major slave ports of America.
That’s just one small example of the importance of street art, and that’s why I’m so excited to meet the women artists who have to fight to just get a place at the wall — not to mention to climb up the ladder and jump over fences and see their art. The possibilities for an impact campaign for this film are limitless. I could see the film being used to inspire women in any number of male-dominated industries: from fire-fighters to cops and scientists, and, of course, the arts, where women are massively underrepresented in every private space from galleries to museums to movie theaters.
I believe there is huge potential to use this film to support burgeoning “street heroines”. I’d love to see this film in middle school and high school art classes accompanied by a lesson plan or curriculum that encourages young women to express their voices using art. It would be great to see cities, large and small, donate public spaces for women street artists and maybe even find the budget to commission art from a female artist.
Shepard Fairey’s name and career is synonymous with President Obama’s Hope poster from 2008. In the time of the first female presidential nominee from a major political party, I hope Street Heroines is able to make the rise of a female Shepard Fairey not just possible, but inevitable.
The project is almost half-way to its goal with 13 days to go: Please support it here.
by Darcy Heusel: SVP, Impact Campaigns @darcyheusel
Darcy’s expertise in impact film stretches from social media and online engagement to film marketing and distribution. Her projects at Picture Motion include Fed Up, American Promise, Bully, The Crash Reel, and Herman’s House. Previously, Darcy was the Director of Programming and Marketing at Constellation.tv where she oversaw business development, client relations, social media and digital strategy. While there, she also directed new media events for The Vow, Magic Mike, and films from the Criterion Collection. Prior to Constellation, Darcy was Director of Acquisitions and Marketing at Screen Media Films where she acquired and oversaw distribution (Theatrical, DVD, VOD, Digital and more) and marketing for over 50 films. Darcy serves on the advisory board for the Minority Independent Producers summit and volunteers in her free time with Ghetto Film School NYC. Darcy graduated with a BA in political science and writing from Washington University in St. Louis.