Womxn Who Rock: (Un)Conference Photo Essay

1. Selected photos

These six photos in particular describe how the Womxn Who Rock (Un)Conference was not limited to music, was participatory, and engaged the community. Each photo highlights a different insight gained in our experience, from the importance of recognition to the joy of community gathering.

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Photo by:
Anuudari Oldokhbayar
Date: March 10, 2018
Location: Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) Atrium
Category + Explanation: Building Communities, Reel Rebels — Because this community altar celebrates all womxn, and explains the intersection of gentrification and creative spaces, this photo is reflective of the organizational efforts of artistic activism specific to Seattle.


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Photo by: Anuudari Oldokhbayar
Date: March 10, 2018
Location: Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) Atrium
Category + Explanation: Making Scenes — This photo features an audience member performing on stage during the blues jam, showing how participation from fans is equally important in producing musical works.

 


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Photo by: Anuudari Oldokhbayar
Date: March 10, 2018
Location: Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) Atrium
Category + Explanation: Write to Rock — This book, Jackson Street After Hours, was described on stage as influential in understanding jazz in Seattle. Because this was shared by the woman singing on stage, it centers the conversation on cultural production by women of color and acknowledges those histories.

 


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Photo by: Anuudari Oldokhbayar
Date: March 10, 2018
Location: Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) Atrium
Category + Explanation: Making Scenes — Ana Cano, aka Black Mama, joined the other musicians on stage during the blues jam. Their collaboration exemplifies making a music scene.

 


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Photo by: Chloe Yeo
Date: March 10, 2018
Location: Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) Atrium
Category + Explanation: Making Scenes — The blues jam filled the atrium with lively music and dancing, especially in a space that tells parts of the Seattle story. This aerial view shows how the audience and band came together to activate this space and celebrate womxn in rock.

 


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Photo by: Sean McGrew
Date: March 10, 2018
Location: Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) Prologue Theater
Category + Explanation: Reel Rebels — Because Promised Land discussed recognition of the Duwamish tribe, distributing this story helps to illuminate local indigenous activism.


2. Conference overview + takeaways

The six photos we chose reflect our overall perception of the (un)conference and captures the most striking moments that we experienced. The interviews conducted helped to frame the social perception of the event. By hearing how the community felt, we were able to recognize the importance of creating spaces like this, and how creating this archive allows for its continued existence. The (un)conference was an effective tool for demonstrating how it is necessary for cities to celebrate previous histories and generate new ones. As a result, understanding how intersectionality helps to inform culture is vital in approaching creating the community spaces that allow for peoples and cultures to thrive. In working together to create this photo essay, we learned how a lot can be accomplished through collaboration and the value of having new perspectives and opinions other than our own in producing a creative work.


3. Photo categorization

See the above photos for categories and explanations.


4. Live blog — Chloe Yeo


5. Interviews 
Anuudari Oldokhbayar

 

Interviewee 1: Bailye

1. What does this conference mean to you?
I have been coming for a several years and I really love the energy that it brings. Also, I feel that it is an opportunity for for women to connect and I really appreciate that. Overall, it has just been a cool thing to be a part of.

2. Why do you think having a conference like this is important to us (women) today and for our future?
I think that having an opportunity to connect with a community across generations, especially hearing from elders. Plus, being a part of something that is designed to build up a solid community and connect with the Seattle women’s community is really important to me as a whole. As a white person, it is also a great opportunity to hear from voices of color, which is important to me. So, I really appreciate that!

3) What is the importance of having the conference here at MOHAI?
So that is is really interesting because it is the first year it is being held here (MOHAI), it has always been at Washington Hall, hence, I am still adjusting to the new venue. But, I have never been to the MOHAI before, and going and seeing some of the exhibits have been really cool and does make the conference feel connected to Seattle and Seattle history. It feels sort of curated and also it is a beautiful day.

4) How should we move forward from this together? (In your opinion)
Man, there are so many things to do! I really am glad that this conference has continued to happen and the continuation factor is really important. I would love to see more connection aside from the once a year conference about events that are going on that support the same kind of vision. For example, when people are playing music locally and just any other organizing that is going on. In one of the panels, they were talking about “where is the action” and just getting the words out about those actions would be awesome.


Interviewee 2:
Salma

1. What does this conference mean to you?
I think overall, it is just about bringing women together from different organizations and different communities to share the role we take on to empower other women and empower our communities. So, it is just a safe space to all of us.

2. Why do you think having a conference like this is important to us (women) today and for our future?
For the people that attend the conference – it is important they get motivated because I know sometimes when it comes to community organizing and similar things, we get really tired and discouraged sometimes. We sometimes feel hopeless and overwhelmed with the work that we do! But, when we come into this space, we get so inspired by the other work that other women are doing and it is a “wow moment”, which reminds me why I do the work that I do and a reminder of the passion that we have for the work that we do. So yeah, it is just about coming together and sharing the different kinds of work we do to empower and inspire each other.

3. What is the importance of having the conference here at MOHAI?
Personally, the museum is a really hard space to get everybody in one area. Plus, keeping things on schedule, being organized, and being all together is a little hard in the space because we are all in different places at all times. So, maybe I wish that it would have been held at a smaller venue. But, it is really cool that we can do a conference here and MOHAI means a lot to Seattle. I think this is a big step towards the idea that women can take up a space like this and be part of the history and the conversation.

4. How should we move forward from this together? (In your opinion)
The incubator room is a space where we can have conversations about what we are all fighting for and the struggles we are all going through, but it is amazing that we are all doing it differently. So, when we hear the specific struggles that women have in the work that they specifically do for whatever cause it may be, we can start strategizing and start working together in a more efficient way.  This is because we are connecting now and talking to each other about the things we are individually doing, but truly us building networks and connections through events like this conference, we know there is support everywhere even though we all do different work.

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