In Their Own Words: Portia Hunter, Rachel Much, Danielle Deadwyler, Rattler Snake, and Zoetic Dance Ensemble

Leading up to Ladyfest weekend we will be highlighting our 2015 artists, performers, and workshops;  using their own words.

PORTIA HUNTER

I have a strong connection to exploring and understanding people and emotions but mainly to also understand and explore myself. I love finding connections between myself and my subject in my photos and sharing them in hopes someone else can see something I did not, or find an interest in the person in the photo, as I did.

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When I first heard about Ladyfest I was excited that something like this was happening in Atlanta because it aims to open the floor to those not accepted in our social system. More than half of my daily life is spent discussing and dealing with sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, etc. so these are issues I care very much about and always hope can change in my city. Being bisexual, black, and a female artist; knowing there is a platform for me and the many amazing people like me, I was pleased with just the idea of coming to the show.

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RACHEL MUCH

I am 17 and attend Pace Academy High School and will be attending the University of Chicago next year. Ever since I could hold a pencil, I’ve been drawing. It has always been my favorite thing, always been what I wanted to do.

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Women are my painting muse–their beautiful strength, poise, and personality is just so interesting to me. Ladyfest Atlanta provides a great outlet for me to share my feminist art that I would not have otherwise.

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DANIELLE DEADWYLER/DIDI XIO

I am inspired by poetry and short-form multimedia for their ability to present depth through ephemeral structures. “dispossessed: the live mixtape” is a live performance of poetic concepts reconstructing the mixtape form, exploring diverse media (e.g. video, monologue) and content traversing a Hip Hop’s milieu on womanhood, domesticity, sexuality, among others. I create works that question gender roles and popular culture. The work mirrors popular Hip Hop songs and imagery, but re-imagines them from a woman’s or an “unpopular” perspective.

I’m interested in performing for diverse, new audiences. Ladyfest is the opportunity to be a part of a fledgling platform, centered around the women’s experiences and themes of narratives I address in my work. Finding a cohort such as Ladyfest opens up the dialogue I am interested in having to potentially like minds, and contrary minds, to the themes I enjoy delving into and performing.

RATTLER SNAKE

The objective of Rattler Snake intends to inhabit the space wherein the feminine aspect is realized through traditional folk songs and stories. I am interested in Ladyfest because after a few years of playing music in Atlanta I feel discouraged at times at the lack of female presence in the scene. I want there to be a tighter community of female artists who are seen and taken seriously. I think a festival of this type has been long needed!

ZOETIC DANCE ENSEMBLE

Mallory Baxley, Artistic Director: I am curious to create work through athleticism, integrity and dynamic spirit that connects meaning with movement. I search for movement’s capacity to communicate the complexities and nuances of actuality, through varied perspectives and contexts. As a creator of dance, I consider myself a facilitator of movement, discovery and candid exchange, in order to uncover organic motion and honest expression.

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As an all women dance company, Zoetic strives to create work that encourages and celebrates the strength and dynamism of all women. Zoetic’s focus is on our personal triumphs–as well as defeats–in hopes that others identifying as women will relate and connect to our message. We are passionate about our unique perspectives in a community that is diverse and continue to be strong in our values and goals to promote women’s issues through movement and dance.

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