Whether visually protesting socio-political injustices or spreading messages of empathy, the film's featured artists use creativity to persevere amidst social ignorance and find their own voices in the male-dominated world of graffiti and street art. Incredibly, it's the first of its kind documentary to capture the global outcry of these women who have been overlooked for decades, while their male counterparts continue to thrive and gain acclaim.
Setting out to raise the profiles of female street artists in the growing subculture, the film follows three emerging artists from different corners of the world who use their art to fight inequality. There are also insights from Lady Pink from New York, Maria 'Toofly' Castillo from Queens, NYC, Elle from NYC, Fusca from Mexico, Gilf! from Brooklyn (also known as Ann Lewis), Danielle Mastrion – also from Brooklyn, Alice Mizrachi from NYC, and many more.
The film was made possible after Alexandra Henry's successful Kickstarter, where her overview read: "While each of their personal stories is unique, their observations clearly reveal the struggle for creative space and a lack of recognition faced by women working within this male-dominated subculture. With more and more women leaving their mark on the movement, Street Heroines pays long-overdue tribute to their contributions and reflects a global shift in perspective of who we are as a society."
Henry went on to say: "From Lady Pink, the first woman to paint entire subway train cars in the 1980s, to seminal photographer Martha Cooper whose work legitimised graffiti as an art form, the artists featured in Street Heroines are changing our relationship to the urban environment and the way we interact within the public space. With this project, I've had the opportunity to interview women with diverse backgrounds from over 10 different countries, gaining insight through intimate conversations on how their efforts are paving the way for other women to pursue creative dreams."
To further the film's message and spotlight underrepresented voices, Alexandra Henry, along with musician and film music supervisor Chanell Crichlow, sourced music from a diverse roster of artists. The acts include Chrichlow – a low brass multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer residing in Los Angeles, California, under the moniker 'tubafresh' – as well as writer, emcee and performer Nappy Nina, Latinx neo-folk artist Renee Goust, and American hip-hop duo Magna Carda.
Henry began shooting the project in 2011 out of São Paulo, Brazil, known for its vibrant and abundant street art scene. "My goal with this project, simply put, is to promote awareness about the flourishing global community of female street artists and encourage others to find their creative voice," she says.
A multilingual burgeoning director with over 12 years of international experience in film and branded entertainment, she showcases her passion for art, music, and languages through photography and filmmaking work. She has been selected for SHOOT Magazine's New Directors Showcase and recognized twice as a CurateNYC Emerging Artist for her body of photographic work, which explores the human experience in densely-populated metropolises through architecture and graffiti.
Street Heroines premiered at The Museum of Graffiti in Miami on Sunday, as part of the venue's monthly outdoor film screening series under the stars in the Wynwood.