These are some artwork submissions we've received from young artists, poets, writers, photographers, musicians and creators.
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ALL I DO IS BE A FRAUD
i could continue to open my wounds for
you to read. be amazed at what you see.
never let the stitches close up. never.
i want the best version of myself out
there for strangers eyes to see and read,
but everything ends in fear, we know that.
‘’a delusional problem’’, i believe that’s
what they said. you’re just asking for sympathy,
a fucking scheme. it all lies, lies, lies.
i’m rotting slowly. i don’t think i’ll ever
want to admit anything. neither the truth
nor the lies and i don’t think i’ve opened
myself up to people. not really. what you
know is all a lie.
all i do is be a fraud. you just so happen to
catch me at the right moment in time. please
drown me in your best words. please, please,
please. take me away, put me in a confined
space, and force me to write about love and
betrayal. will you then see what i’m made of?
do i even want to see what i am made of?
sure, okay. we’re all human. all fragile,
just bones, flesh, and skin, but i can’t help
but make you think that when you slice me
open you’ll discover some golden treasure
chests i’ve kept hidden. i kept putting up
this façade; it was all of my own doing. a
wired, delusional brain that always tells
me i’m nothing but a bad human. what’s
morally good anyway?
all i do is be a fraud. where do i lie when
my worst is their best? please dance around
my burning corpse, make me your best.
please scatter my ashes, shun me away.
please make up rumors about how i was
the most melodramatic girl you’ve ever
seen in this town. give me your best words
and your worst. i can lay here on the soft
concrete floor where the people once walked.
when this world ends and it could be any day,
i just hope i’ve walked here, really walked here.
linger just the right amount, enough. enough
for you to see through me when i told you i
didn’t want to be seen, enough for you to still
want me when i told you i didn’t want to be wanted,
enough for you to love me despite my push and
pull and the stutter to say what i really mean to you.
"This one has a lot to do with the mind and the dysfunctions that are often (if not always) associated with it. It's this constant thought that everything you do or say is a lie, all of this is just some sort of elevated scheme I'm luring people in. If I have to put it plainly and simply, this whole gig is basically about imposter syndrome at its finest."
Artwork type: Drawing/Painting
HOW FEMINISM INFLUENCED MY LIFE
How has feminism influenced my life?
Feminism turned my world around, and altered my reality - that once I found it and let it into my life, my entire perspective shifted in a way that everything made sense. Although it can be quite overwhelming to learn that your favorite books and movies are problematic, and to observe the sexism in the words of your friends, family and those around you. When I first started discovering feminism, I realized the things that have happened to me, may that be small or big, have been part of a larger social system and starting to view the world from feminism lens have made me wiser.
What does feminism mean to me?
I believe feminism is the freedom one chooses to live. It liberates you to be who you want to be, it breaks you free from the shackles of vicious patriarchy and the misogyny that we have internalized due to years of social conditioning to serve men. It allows women to make decisions and decide what’s best for them. Feminism does not see differences between men and women, this revolution wants equal opportunities for men and women; it’s not the purpose of hating men. Looking back, I’m shocked at how much I judged girls on what they wore, what they say and do. I’m guilty of body shaming to say the least. Feminism made me realize I was a slave to the patriarchal order, under the patriarchy, women are constantly pit against each other. I am guilty of laughing at sexist jokes cracked by male friends. I have grown up watching and reading culture propagated by men who somehow conditioned me to act a certain way, think a certain way. But by embracing feminism, it has helped me cast off internalised misogyny. Not only have I become more compassionate, but also empathetic to not only women, but all individuals, it has led me to empathise with people’s diverse experiences of oppression.
I was always critical of the way I look. Moreover, those around me weren’t too kind and they’ve made extra effort to point out my flaws. I spend a lot of time mulling over my imperfections and indulging in self hate. But by embracing feminism, I’ve learned to embrace my flaws as well, it changed my perception of beauty. It has made me notice the numerous ways society’s beauty standards, expectations and stereotypes oppress women. I have always felt the expectations of being a woman, it’s hard to notice misogyny and sexism that is so ingrained in you from the very moment you’re born into the world as a female - which is one of the many reasons why feminism urges us to pay attention to these expectations, is so important. Empowering women does not mean belittling men. Men, too, suffer from gender role assumptions that place expectations upon them to live and act a certain way. Feminists believe each person should be viewed based on their individual strengths and capabilities as human beings, not their gender.
Why do we need feminism?
Feminism gave me a voice, and the confidence to express myself, to never let myself be walked or silenced over, it taught me that I matter and that my actions mattered. It is so great that many women today feel like they have equal opportunities as men. If it wasn’t for past movements, who knows where we would be today. We need feminism because women need to speak up, without the fear of being judged when they are being harassed and assaulted. We need feminism because it is exhaustive to live with restrictions and to conform to social norms. Women should be allowed to talk more openly about their sexuality, without being bashed for it. I need feminism because I want to be able to go out to enjoy evening activities, take a walk, freely roaming around the streets without being attentive all the time.
If you are a feminist, you believe women should be treated the same as men. Not because we’re better, but because we’re just human.
The idea that there are still people, including women who declare that they don’t need feminism is alarming and frightening. Some people do not feel the need to voice on these matters, and that is okay. But there’s a difference between being indifferent and being blatantly ignorant. And that the difference is speaking out about an issue when your opinion is based on misguided information.
I urge every woman to use their privilege to help those who are suffering, because as Audre Lorde said, “I’m not free while other women are unfree, even if her shackles are very different from mine.”
If I could go back in time once,
I would go back to a day in first grade.
I remember being excited to finish lunch
or have break time, so that I could run to the library.
It was small, and had sliding doors facing the pool.
Because there were no chairs, I'd kneel
and pick out a picture book to read.
It's quiet, with the distant sound of other children playing,
the floor is cool, and the air smells like chlorine.
And I'd feel truly at peace.
"The smell of a pool triggers my childhood memories. I read that this was called an olfactory memory."