I initially decided to portray the women as drawings instead of photographs because it was my natural inclination as a portrait painter. But also, drawing someone’s portrait makes you really look at them. You have to recognize their humanity not just physically but personally. And I hope that’s what comes across when people see these portraits in the street.
I’m rambling. Watch the video. Thanks to Zahira and Koku for talking so candidly with me.
Stop Telling Women to Smile is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The work attempts to address gender based street harassment by placing drawn portraits of women, composed with captions that speak directly to offenders, outside in public spaces.