International Women's Day is celebrated on 8th March every year and is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We asked the MSMR team to tell us about the women who have inspired them and why. Scroll down for our video.
Francesca Woodman by Catherine
The woman who has inspired me is Francesca Woodman the photographer. I went to see her work, (mainly self-portraits and still-life, shot in black and white), at the Photographer's Gallery when I was 19. I was absolutely blown away by her work, it was so moving it almost made me cry, and it definitely inspired me go on to do my own photography and photography degree.
Counterspace by Patrycja
I’ve been inspired recently by South African architecture studio, Counterspace. They have been chosen to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2020 and this is a huge feat, for such a young architectural practice. (Counterspace's pavillion which is the 20th Serpentine Pavilion, will centre on the experiences of London's migrant communities). I am so proud of how they've transcended expectation.
Nicola Gerber by David
The woman who inspired me was my third year tutor and architect, Nicola Gerber, (founding partner at Mumbai-based, multidisciplinary design practice FUSIONstudio). She helped me realise what my passions were in architecture. Effectively without that, I probably wouldn’t be here doing architecture!
Elif Shafak by Susan
In 2017 Elif Shafak, the prolific Turkish writer was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people that will ‘give you a much needed lift of the heart’. As a long standing advocate for women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, multiculturalism and freedom of speech, she embodies the progressive movement we so desperately need in this current, inward looking and polarising political world. An inspiration to me and to women around the world, her books directly address subject matters considered ‘inappropriate’, taboo or a threat to the status quo.
Michelle Obama by Charlotte
I am inspired by Michelle Obama. She visited a high achieving girl’s school in Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived boroughs in the country. It was part of her ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative which aims to remove the barriers that keep 62 million girls out of education around the world. She spoke about her own upbringing as a young black girl in a working-class town and of how her parents believed education was the ultimate key to success. Her insight into the challenges facing the girls growing up in Tower Hamlets, struck a chord. Amongst the many inspiring things she said, was this, “With an education from this amazing school, you all have everything you need to rise above all of the noise and fulfill every last one of your dreams.”
Family member by Alem
The woman who inspires me is my Auntie who left Ethiopia and came to Europe with nothing. She received some help from The Red Cross and eventually went on to set up her own successful business in Denmark. She learnt Danish fluently, bought a home and really established herself. I really admire her resilience despite the hardships she faced.
Family members by Andrew
The two women that inspire me the most are my Mum and my wife’s Mum. My mum for her resilience and kindness, and my wife’s mum for her strong will and determination.
Link: International Women's Day
Images: Shutterstock, Francesca Woodman, Wiki Commons, Fusion Studio, Counterspace