We live in a society in which women are mostly seen in public places on advertising spaces for care products, cosmetics or completely incoherently in underwear for pizza or cars. Such a society needs large-format women’s faces that stand for themselves. That stand for achievements in art, culture, politics, sport, science, literature and technology – for successes and discoveries, for courage and fighting spirit, for independence and strength or for the everyday struggle of women in global patriarchy.
The aim of the mural is to make different stories, life plans and social contributions of women visible and thus to encourage everyone to deal with their biographies and their ideas and to give them more appreciation than is often the case in the past.
The wall – as a medium in public space – offers the opportunity to question one’s own image of women, to discover more positive examples from different areas of society and to get to know female personalities who can be role models beyond fashion, cosmetics and lifestyle.
In order to be able to make a selection from an almost infinite number of inspiring women, the following criteria are applied:
- positive contribution to science, society or environment
- positive contribution to arts, culture, entertainment or sport
- special, public discussion of images and roles of women
- exemplifying an “alternative” life plan for women
- Resistance fighters* and feminist activists
- Contribution to justice and equality
The selected portraits are not about staging the portrayed women as perfect people who have made no mistakes in their biography.
We don’t know everything about people who are more or less in the public eye, and that’s fine. Some of the portraits can (and should) trigger controversial discussions.
The project is in the style of a classic street art medium, which is often used as a means of political communication in public space. The design is monochrome, in a few discreet, coordinated colours to ensure both the focus on the women and the street art reference. The resulting look is reminiscent of low-threshold, political art forms in public space and underlines the fact that this is not an exclusive work of art but a social statement.
Stencils are deliberately chosen as a medium to make the idea easily reproducible. Stencils can be produced by oneself with simple means and are variable in size and complexity, the technique can be learned quickly and easily. The stencils are made in several layers to better represent individual facial features and to make the portraits more recognizable.
Anyone is capable of creating a Wonderful Women Wall, anyone should be encouraged to engage with the lives of women who inspire them and to ensure that women whose faces represent diverse lifestyles, achievements and social change are actually visible in public spaces. The existing murals do not claim to be complete – you lack your role model? Go ahead and paint her!