“Birthing as Resistance”
“Type ‘girls’ into the search engine and describe what you see.”
Set in the darkened auditorium of our Midtown neighbors, the Alliance Française d’Atlanta, a group of men and women attending The Lemonade Project Session Two faced a projection screen. With cell phone in hand, they searched for images of men, boys, girls, and women, as similar screenshots from a Google search appeared before them.
“I see mostly women.”
“There’s only one girl, and she looks out of place.”
Observations rang out into the air, often met with nods of agreement and collective musing, as we journeyed through a meaningful collaborative exercise showcasing the media’s role in our own socialization and the conceptualization of ourselves.
Yet, before socialization lays claim to us, we are born. Merriam-Webster defines birth as the emergence of a new individual from the body of its parent. But, what does birthing truly mean? Can it only be used in reference to the relationship between a living thing, and its parent? Can it inhabit more?
At MODA, we present design in all of it forms, including redesign. What if we could radically transform birthing as a process that we can do for ourselves? What if, in the process of birthing, we could design our own self-concept that encourages the blossoming of our true selves? What if birthing became an act of resistance against prejudice?
As we exchanged stories that November night, we slowly chipped away at the lessons society taught us in our youths. We took steps together towards our own rebirths, and began the long journey towards designing social justice for both ourselves and our communities.
-Blair Banks, MODA Education Coordinator and Design Club Manager