Photo Reflections

wwr1Unconference Attendees Learning an Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba Dance. Women Who Rock: Water is Life Unconference. February 11, 2017. Washington Hall, Seattle, WA. Making Scenes.

This picture represents a sense of community and unity while dancing in harmony to Bomba. It is a representation and reclamation of Indigenous knowledge and roots. It is important to be aware of Indigeneity and how it is implemented in different types of art that display a connection between cultures.

This picture features the making of a musical scene. It captures the building of community and the reclamation of Indigenous culture. It is an excellent example of the use of music and dance to construct resistant epistemologies and political formations.


Altares by University of Washington Students. Women Who Rock: Water is Life Unconference. February 11, 2017. Washington Hall, Seattle, WA. Reel Rebels.

The picture of altares created by our classmates gives off vibrant colors and spirits in the unconference. These bright colors represent the bright souls that joined together in unity. This picture was chosen not only because it is a representation of a sanctuary, but a safe space of expressing and honoring our unique beliefs and cultures. The different altares is a way of reclaiming cultural traditions and transforming them our own way based on our experiences. We articulate our resistance through the process of making these altares.

We categorize this picture under ‘Reel Rebels’ because it documents the visual art of the ofrendas. It is visual art as well as an archivista practice. The altars include many pictures, which are themselves visual art, in their reproduction and remembrance of a subjugated history.


Maya Jupiter Speaking on Artivism and “Madre Tierra.” February 11, 2017. Washington Hall, Seattle, WA. Making Scenes.

This picture was chosen to represent the power within this space. Maya Jupiter is an artivist that uses her platform to advocate for social justice along with modifying her cultures histories through her songs. As a womxn of color, many of these spaces were not meant for us to partake in, yet, Maya Jupiter is breaking that traditional norm, which makes this picture so powerful. She is delivering an important message to the communities while on a tamira. This tarima adds on to the importance of this picture since it represents coming in convivencia, united together.

In this picture, Chicana feminist musician Maya Jupiter is addressing Unconference attendees. After displaying her video “Madre Tierra”, which she vocally accompanied, she explained her intentions in making the music video and her plans for future musical endeavors. The powerful artivism this picture captures justifies its categorization as “Making Scenes.”

Wrapping Up

We are wrapping up, but the Fandango is keeping the spirits up as we clean. There is still dancing going on. The play put on by Gabriella Seattle shared with us the stories of Filipino women who have to travel away from their homes to work. It is a story not often heard, and Gabriella shared it wonderfully. There was a spirit of solidarity throughout the entire day, but particularly during the play. Then Maya Jupiter freestyled against police brutality and the prison industrial complex which is a pressing issue in Seattle right now. We had an open mic which showcased all the many voices that represent women who rock from seasoned veteran performers to new voices. Finally, the Fandango is closing out the day by fostering the spirit of community and resilience of Women Who Rock!

–Elizabeth Bringier

Opening Blessing and Community

We are beginning the panel of activists reporting back from Standing Rock. There is a strong spirit of community here. The opening blessing was an honor to witness. After, there was Afro-Latina dancers and the steel drum band got the energy high, and everyone started moving. This is a space of no judgement. We are a community of people, and everyone is looking to learn from one another. Students, activists, mothers, fathers, young children and infants are all here. No one is being left out, and we are led by Indigenous women. This is the definition of  building community. Now, the report back panel is sharing with us. We are hearing personal stories from Standing Rock, reasons why people went, stories of identities and skills learned there.

Important lessons shared by Suja from Standing Rock-

Know your family’s history.

Know whose land you’re one.

Use “we” statements rather than “I” statements.