International artist, illustrator to speak in Raise Your Voice series

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of Tatyana Fazlalizadeh.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—An international artist and illustrator will speak next month as part of the Raise Your Voice speaker series sponsored by Western Michigan University's Lee Honors College.

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, an African-American and Iranian artist and freelance illustrator originally from Oklahoma, will speak at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in 1004 Richmond Center for Visual Arts. Fazlalizadeh's talk will encompass her project Stop Telling Women to Smile and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the center's lobby.

About the project

Stop Telling Women to Smile is a street art project that addresses gender-based street harassment. The project consists of a series of portraits of women who have talked about their experiences with harassment. The portraits are designed into posters, including text that is inspired by the subject's experiences. Street harassment is an issue that affects women worldwide.

Fazlalizadeh's visit to campus will include a six-day residency as a visiting artist creating new Stop Telling Women to Smile pieces featuring women from the WMU student body. In addition to her public talk, the residency will include class visits, group discussions, interviews with students about harassment on campus and a display of original art.

About the series

The Raise Your Voice speaker series arose from discussions at the honors college about violence and hostility against women. It is led by the Lee Honors College, co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Fine Arts, and is being supported by multiple departments and units across campus and by organizations in the Kalamazoo community.

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