interview with: Paige Megan Hawley, Photographer and Nasty Women London founder, UK
Q: Can you describe your work in terms that a 4 year old can understand, please?
A: When someone upsets you, you want to fight back and show your'e angry. I have used photography to show anger in my photos, rather than being mean back to them.
Q: What inspired you to start Nasty Women London?
A: I have had a bad experience which made me want to help other people, I found art healing so I thought giving a space for others to heal, and show their anger would help empower others through the Nasty Women movement.
Q: Why do you think Nasty Women is important in the UK?
A: Over the past few years we have seen some huge political shifts with the election of President Trump, where Nasty Women was established. And here in the UK with Brexit, I thought this was an amazing opportunity for feminist artists to show their work In a space where we can reveal that in this society we also stand for fairness and equality.
Q: Is Nasty Women still about Donald Trump or is it about other issues? If it is about other issues what are they?
A: Donald Trump influenced the establishment of Nasty Women at the final debate between himself and Hillary Clinton, when he called her a "Nasty Woman", this had a huge impact on Feminists, especially Roxanne Jackson and Jessamyn Fiore who have then reacted and created this platform of resistance, where creatives and curators from around the world have established their own exhibition for maybe their own reasons, like myself where I wanted to help others and empower women, by giving them a space to gain a voice through their artwork, personally I don't think it is just about President Trump, I believe its also about creating a space for activists and creatives to meet and share their experiences to why they created their art, as there is usually something that made someone create this piece of work and share this with the world. I believe that the Nasty Women movement will expand into different things within society, like recently with the exhibition on International Women's Day, 'Empowerment' which was about Intersectional Feminism, where artists from all over the world contributed to the exhibit and included individuals from all different backgrounds, its not just about equality for men and women, its about equality worldwide and connecting humanity.
Q: Who is your favourite Disney princess and which Disney princess do you think is the strongest (in emotion or in physical strength) ?
A: Pocahontas is my favourite disney character because she shows independence and likes the freedom to explore. She was also the first disney princess to take the role in governing, showing women can be in power too not just men.
Q: Why are you an artist and what is your favourite piece of art that you've ever done?
A: I found myself as a photographic artist when I had a bad experience but I took photos to turn this into a good and positive thing, by hoping If I can share my story then other people would share theirs too, as not talking about things that make you sad can make you feel not very nice. My favourite piece of art is a project names 'Capturing MeToo' which is about the #metoo movement, where people have said their own stories through social media like twitter and Facebook, so I decided to take photos of different people who wanted to share their story with the world and at the same time have someone to talk to (me).
Q: Whis is the one food you would be happy to live without?
A: Mushrooms! as I don't have mush-room for things I don't like!
Q: What can we children do (one thing) that will make the world substantially better for us when we are adults and for our children when we have them?
A: Always stand up for what you believe in and what you have a passion for.
Q: How can young people become activists?
A: Find a passion for change, what would you want to change about the world and who would you tell it to? For example, Meghan Markle at just eleven years of age wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton about an advert which she saw in a classroom with the slogan; "Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans" after this in the advert "Women" was changed to "People" meaning everyone including men not just women can clean pots and pans!
This is when Meghan went home and told her parents, her father told her to stand up for what she believes in and pen a letter "to the most powerful people". And doing this made change to the advert and to her classmates by writing to the Procter & Gamble and high profile figures such as former First Lady Hillary Clinton, women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred and Nick News anchor Ellerbee.