The “I’m Tired” Project
“If she wore a longer skirt she wouldn’t have been raped.”
“If he dressed up less like a girl and more like a man then he wouldn’t have to get beaten up almost every day.”
“If only her skin was a shade lighter, then maybe she’d have gotten that modelling gig she really wanted.”
“If she kept her mouth shut like a good woman, she’d already be married by now.”
These are just some of the stereotypes a majority of Kenyans become victim to or witnessed. It is unfortunate as it is downright unfair that so many of us have to go through these unnecessary tribulations. These stereotypes and micro aggressions punctuate our lives with feelings of insecurity, unworthiness and depression. They are emotional and mental chains that restrict us from living life just as we are.
Why do I have to suck in my stomach every time I take a photo of myself? Why does he have to have a car or be rich to get your attention? Why must she relax her hair or put a weave on so that she can get a job? Does he really have to cut his ten year old dreadlocks just to be heard in a corporate company? Why do we set such high and often unattainable standards for men and women who would have lived life much more freely without them? Why do we assume children’s ignorance and choose to hide the truth from them? For a very long time in my childhood I thought that my parents bought me in a supermarket. (Not cool mum & dad…that was not cool at all)
We are all victims of these ‘-isms’ and it’s about time we put an end to them and teach each other on the importance of just being. We are human BEINGS after all, not human doings. Everyone deserves the right to just be without having any qualms from within or without. I should be able to do what makes me happy simply because it makes me happy. Let’s not subject people to having to give an explanation for how they choose to live their lives. Can we all just be?
If these words resonate with you, then you need to be at Creatives Garage from 13th November for The “I’m Tired” Project. Join us as we seek to break down stereotypes that restrict us from simply being. There will be a photo-shoot on the 13th which will highlight the micro aggressions, assumptions and stereotypes that we might experience written on our backs, as is the theme of The I'm Tired Project. This will be followed by two workshops on the 14th, and two more workshops on the 15th. In these workshops, co-founders of The “I’m Tired” Project, Paula Akpan & Harriet Evans, will guide us in understanding these stereotypes and micro aggressions and their impact in our society. These series of events will come to a close on 17th November where we will have an exhibition launch night, and the photos taken on 13th will be on display.
Register for the event here, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-im-tired-project-tickets-38930972587
We just can’t wait to see you there.Written by Chelsea Laria