Happy International Women’s Day 2017

In recognition of International Women’s Day 2017 here’s a pic of Venus by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. Tom and I took a million pictures from his museum in Copenhagen when we visited last August and this is a fairly typical depiction of this Classical figure.

In this age of Trump and increasingly right wing rhetoric it feels more important than ever that we recognise and reinforce the rights of women while striving to eliminate the gender gap in all the ugly ways it raises its head.

I find it heartening that female voices are at the heart of a range of much overlooked issues. Striking, talented women are at the forefront of movements like the Sámi community. Sápmi, the indigenous region of northern Sweden, Finland, Norway and Northern Russia, is hotly contested and the Sámi people have consistently been downtrodden and overlooked my successive governments. Maxida Märak and Sofia Jannok, artists and musicians in their own rights, are leading the cause, as well as the film-maker Suvi West, whose film Me and My Little Sister explores LGBT themes through a female context.

Maxida Märak, her poet sister Mimmi and artist Jenni Laiti are part of a Sámi Rights Activism Group, Suohpanterror, whose namesake uses the lasso, The Sámi weapon of choice. They made Sámi propaganda posters, using pop-culture references from Planet Terror to Hello Kitty to raise awareness of Sápmi and Sámi people and to start a conversation. One of the posters really caught my attention, its an altered version of the very famous ‘We can do it’ poster from the USA. I don’t think any day is more fitting for this poster than today.

I hope you all have a great International Women’s Day!

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