The project team of Sonmaz Mashal Cultural Relations Public Union has started realization of the project under the name of “Women Create!
Creative Conversations on Gender Equity and Women’s Achievements in Azerbaijan” sponsored by the National Commission of UNESCO to the Republic of Azerbaijan and UNESCO.
This project brings together up to 30 of the best emerging young Azerbaijani creative women in Azerbaijan, both visual artists and literary writers, for a workshop, exhibition and reading, and book publication. The project facilitates a space for these creative women to work together and respond to each other’s pieces on Azerbaijani women’s lives and issues of gender equity, thereby supporting and building creative “conversation” and awareness on themes of contemporary Azerbaijani women’s lives – their challenges and achievements. In the 4-day workshop the writers and artists discuss and draft/draw works on themes of contemporary Azerbaijani women’s lives, their challenges and achievements. They then respond to the themes and ideas developed in each other’s creative works in their own medium. For example, first a poet and a visual artist respond in their respective mediums to a workshop discussion on contemporary Azerbaijani women’s challenges and accomplishments in the workplace. Then, they create in response to each other’s pieces: the poet writes a poem in conversation with the painter’s drawing; and the visual artist creates drawing that responds to the poem. These companion pieces (approximately 30 visual artworks and 30 poetry or short prose pieces) would completed by the participants and then displayed together in a follow-up exhibition, with a public literary reading and opening. All companion pieces would be published in book form, with a critical introduction. All written work and visual artwork captions are translated into English for broader distribution.
The workshops will be led by Alison Mandaville, Faculty Member of California State University, Fresno, and Shahla Naghiyeva, Associate Professor of the Azerbaijan University of Languages, Chairwoman of Sonmaz Mashal Cultural Relations Public Union.
The aim of the project is to focus on the gender equity in Azerbaijan and propogandate the creative potential of our young women.