Poetry Inspires Design Students to Honor Women Artists Across African Diaspora

Poetry Inspires Design Students to Honor Women Artists Across African Diaspora


Graphic Design Students at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Partner with Arts Initiative to Honor Women Artists Across African Diaspora

Live Unchained™, the international arts media and events organization featuring works by women artists across the African Diaspora, has partnered with the prestigious Graphic Design department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I) to promote their Indiegogo online fundraiser launched on Friday, February 8th. Live Unchained’s 1st annual award ceremony “Terrifying, Strange & Beautiful” is named after a line from the poem, “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love,” by acclaimed London-based Somali poet, Warsan Shire. The ceremony will honor women featured on www.liveunchained.com and exceptional artists in the D.C. area with a special performance by Shire. Having read and familiarized themselves with Shire’s poetry, U of I Graphic Design majors created digital postcards inspired by Shire’s writing to be shared on Live Unchained social media outlets and creative public spaces in the Washington, D.C. area. Live Unchained™ aims to raise $15,000 through it’s “Terrifying, Strange, and BeautifulIndiegogo campaign.

 

Below, some truly inspiring designs!

Inspired by the poem, “the inanimate daughter,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Lauren Blackburn

 

Inspired by the poem, “crude conversations with boys who fake laughter often,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Vanessa Burritt

 

Inspired by the poem, “what they did yesterday afternoon,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Denise Castaneda

 

Inspired by the poem, “Day 7,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Eduardo Diazmuñoz.

 

Inspired by the poem, “haiku on missing.,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Evan Jarzynski

 

Inspired by the poem, “be small for me,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Audrey Javier

 

Eric Benson, Chair of University of Illinois Graphic Design Program and Associate Professor, is a published author, activist and international speaker on sustainable design theory and practice. Benson designed the Live Unchained “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” graphic design assignment for his students. He shares: “It’s been great seeing Live Unchained grow over the years. I was happy to share this opportunity with my students. It’s given them the opportunity to design for a diverse community and the Live Unchained website has introduced them to art and artists that many have only begun to know.”

Kathryn Buford, Live Unchained’s founder and self-titled, “Chief Visionary Officer,” is an alumni of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and currently a Sociology PhD student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Buford shares: “It was great having Professor Benson’s support on this. He really encouraged his students to listen to our vision for the event and not rely on cliché images. With the colors and symbols the students used, their art helped me relate to Warsan’s poetry in new ways.”

Shire’s first written book of poetry,“Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth,” discusses women, love, loneliness, and war. She is also the 2007 International Slam Champion, and has read her engaging poems internationally, most recently in South Africa, Italy, and Germany. Her poems have been translated into Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. She has also been featured in prestigious media outlets like Vogue Italia. Apart from her own writing, Shire has edited an issue of Sable LitMag and is currently the poetry editor at SPOOK Magazine.

Contributions can be made to the “Terrifying, Strange and Beautiful” online fundraiser at www.indiegogo.com/liveunchained. Live Unchained is still seeking out corporate sponsors who can help with additional costs and welcome media sponsorship.

About Live Unchained:
Live Unchained™ is an international arts media and events organization incorporated by President, Kathryn Buford in 2009. Through the growing webzine at http://www.liveunchained.com, Live Unchained™ has provided exciting features and intimate interviews with over 100 female artists of African descent from over 16 different countries to a broad international audience of creative free thinkers.

 

Inspired by the poem, “The Fire,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Monique Marchwiany

 

Designed by Hyori Nam

 

Inspired by the poem, “Untitled,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Elaine Palutsis

 

Inspired by the poem, “34 excuses for why we failed at love.” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Daryl Quitalig.

 

Inspired by the poem, “Residue,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Nathalie Rock.

 

Inspired by the poem, “my hair is falling out but there are worse things to lose,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Derek Steinweg.

 

Inspired by the poem, “Be Small For Me,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Heather Stickney.

 

Inspired by the poem, “for women who are difficult to lve,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Michael Wernert.

 

Designed by Ellen Winston.

 

Inspired by the poem, “The Letter Your Mother Couldn’t Write,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Michael Zhang.

 

Inspired by the poem, “what did we even talk about?,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Courtney Lai.

 

Inspired by the poem, “The Letter Your Mother Couldn’t Write,” by Warsan Shire. Designed by Matt Glickson.

Glickson_Unchained

 

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