The Change in Me

My two paintings represent the effect stories about powerful, strong women in the "Women, Power and Politics" exhibition have had on me. It is also a tribute to all strong women in my life. I was inspired by a quote by Bosayna Kamel, from the story, Egypt: We are Watching You. She says, "Change won't come suddenly. It'll come step by step. Our first step was to open our eyes." The butterfly, an ancient symbol of the soul and of freedom, goes through a slow, step-by-step change... just as I did through my experience with I.M.O.W.

high school girls painting about the growth and change in herself
La Crisálida (The Crysalis)

"Quien soy yo? Díme, porque no sé."
"Who am I? Tell me, because I don't know."

This quote represents the frame of mind I have often slipped into, where in the confusion of trying to discover who I am, I look to others to define me, instead of within myself. It, and many of the other quotes on these two works, are in Spanish, because my Puerto Rican heritage is an integral part of who I am, and always will be.

"No puedo, no puedo, porque..."
"I can't, I can't, because..."

Excuses, excuses, for not pursuing my ultimate best.

"The way my mind trips/you’d be thinking i had some sort of disease."

An excerpt from the first spoken word poem I ever wrote, which talked about my feelings of confusion concerning my identity and emotions.

"The world is as it was, and as it will be... there is nothing i can do to change it."

As a teenager, it often feels like any effort I make to initiate change in my world is pointless, because I am only me. We are told history repeats itself, despite anyone's efforts to changing it for the better.


La Mariposa (The Butterfly)

"I have endless possibilities. The universe is mine to discover."

I have realized that I do not have to allow myself to be limited by my circumstance. No matter what difficulties present themselves, I can find a way to overcome them. There is a world of beauty and inspiration out there, waiting to be shared.

"Soy una mujer, y soy hermosa."
"I am a woman, and I am beautiful."

La Mariposa (The Butterfly) detail
I'm no less, nor greater than any other human being. My gender does not define me, but it is a part of my identity.

"Soy una criatura de luz y amor y de la poesía."

"I am a creature of light and love and poetry."

"The slightest flutter of my wing...can create a hurricane of enlightenment that changes the world."

In direct contrast to the thought that there is nothing we can do to change the world, nothing we can do to change our fate, the Butterfly Effect Theory says even the smallest draft created by a butterfly's flight can cause a hurricane on the other side of the globe. In that mindset, I hope to continue to work towards positive change in our world, knowing that the small things I do here may make an even greater impact somewhere else in the global community.

I.M.O.W. partnered with Liza Gesuden, a teacher at Oakland School for the Arts, and her Senior Honors English class to create an Education Pilot Program that focused on the museum's exhibition, "Women, Power and Politics," for a five week unit. Engaging exhibition stories as course texts, students organized in-class presentation, discussed central topics explored by the exhibition and worked on assignments inspired by the exhibition.

Visit their profile in the I.M.O.W. community and watch, read and listen to their incredibly creative projects.


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When I was studying and drawing the decoration ..
I loved to move my fingers with lines of decoration to know where they will ending me.
Sometimes i am not ending with them, And sometimes they not ending with me.
But when we arrive together to the point .. I had ask :" Who is this human his life lines are lines of beautiful decoration?!!!".
Befor i siad to my grandmother :" You are looks like persian decoration on the wall of an old house .." Then she asked me :"And you looks like who ?"
" I am look like you ..".
The point drawing line , Circal, Triangle , Squaer and .....Just when the point moving

And today i heard you ,And read your line who is clearly on front of my eyes ..

.. be fine :)
karima zuhair

I loved this story and it made me think of that moment of our lives when we think we can be anything and go anywhere...but as we get older sometimes life narrows downs our dreams and we tend to try to fit in the society and forget all about discovering the universe! I would like to tell every woman (starting by myself) to never forget their dreams : it is never too late to start over and finally become yourself.
PS: I loved "The Butterfly" painting so much that I even put it on my desktop background!Keep it up the Ashley!U really did something great.

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