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Stop Telling Women To Smile 

When: March 7-April 19 2014
Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is tired of strangers hollering at women on the street, calling them terms of endearment, and telling them to smile when they deserve the right to glare. The Brooklyn-based artist has been traveling across the country, holding workshops with women about their experiences with street harassment. After speaking with each participant, she draws a charcoal portrait of the woman staring sternly and emblazons the bottom with a defiant phrase of her choice. After these portraits are scanned and enlarged, Fazlalizadeh wheat pastes them in the neighborhoods that the women described to be most problematic. She recently came through Oakland, and the posters she created are now on view at Betti Ono Gallery (1427 Broadway, Oakland). Massive wheat pastes line the walls of the gallery alongside original drawings, presenting a range of women united in their stand against harassment. Their rebuttals include “I am not your exotic thing” and “I am not public space” — assertions that should seem obvious, but undeniably need to be said. As part of International Anti-Street Harassment Week, Fazlalizadeh is making her posters available for download so that people can wheat paste them in their neighborhoods on the evening of April 4. For more information, go to
— Sarah Burke


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