Since the founding of the United States voices of resistance have given rise to concerns and movements to improve the quality of life for a greater intersection of The People. This series looks to the past to understand the struggles and gallant efforts and endurance of those who came before, to find inspiration in the work they did to lay the cornerstones of who we are today; to build a bridge of conversation between then and now in order to connect more deeply with those who were ignored and devalued in the past in order to imagine a more inclusive, brighter future for generations to come.
These images revisit the lives of numerous historical figures both real and in some cases partially imagined including Harriet Tubman, Betsy Ross, Frances Willard, Ida B Wells, Frances Harper, Pandita Ramabai and Catherine Waugh McCulloch focusing on the early organizing effort of women for social change, and examining the causes and struggles for justice that have transcended time from the fight for abortion rights, voting rights, immigration rights, the right to bare arms and its fall out, to the #MeToo movement, to the thread of history that runs through the abolition of slavery to the anti-lynching movement to the civil rights movement to the Black Lives Matter campaign. Inspired by the January 2017 and 2018 Women’s Marches and the current Year of the Woman as we move toward November 2018 elections, it has felt imperative to look to the past for reminders of hope, to see a timeline of change that respects the humanity of the many over the few. It is from the triumphs of history that we can imagine a more hopeful union.
all images © Vanessa Filley