Meet our supporter of the week, Carolyn Janssen. Carolyn interns with Women LEAD in Nepal. She is an artist/art educator who is deeply moved by the issues of gender equality. Carolyn joined the Women LEAD team because of her passion and drive to help every young female discover their true talent and potential. With her artwork, Carolyn hopes to inspire young leaders and create change in Nepal!
Why do you want to be involved with Women LEAD? Why attracts you to working on young women’s leadership?
My interest in this work stems from witnessing the work of remarkable women. I am consistently impressed by the creativity and gutsy ambition of young women, and I value a world where their talent is celebrated. I find Women LEAD‘s cutting edge approach to supporting young leadership Nepal to be compelling, and I want to join forces!
Professionally, I am an artist and art educator who has been increasingly compelled by issues of gender equality. While working at Sattya Media Arts Collective in Kathmandu, I was introduced to Women LEAD and became intrigued by the prospect of offering street art workshops that promoted women and art activism. Thus far it’s been a blast—everyone at Women LEAD is so interesting, inspiring and lots of fun.
Describe a woman who inspires you!
Lately I’ve been excited by the work of women artists, writers and filmmakers, particularly those that feature dynamic female protagonists. Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel and film Persepolis is a wonderful example, offering an autobiographical account of an outspoken young Iranian girl coming-of-age during the Islamic Revolution. Both the graphic novel and the film are hauntingly beautiful and present a compelling narrative. Some of my other creative heroes include Ann Hamilton, Kristen Wiig, Sofia Coppola and Shana Moulton.
What’s the accomplishment you’re most proud of to date?
I am proud of the recent body of artwork developed while earning a MFA at the University of North Carolina: a collection of mural-sized digital landscapes that explore ritual, materiality and gender. I’ve enjoyed connecting with artists who are exploring similar themes, and it’s been rewarding to watch the work’s audience grow. This past year, I completed a residency at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California, showed work at the Ackland Museum of Art and created a series of commissioned billboards for the North Carolina Museum of Art.
What do you hope to get out of your time with Women LEAD?
I look forward to rubbing shoulders with innovative young women, plotting to create change, making plenty of collaborative art, and rabble rousing! Being present in Nepal during such a politically formative transition has been fascinating, and I look forward to witnessing how the members of Women LEAD play a part.