Magic and Activism-or something like that
Art has been used as a medium for revolutions through space and time. This is evident in the murals of Northern Ireland, the propaganda posters of World War II, and the protest signs of Donald Trump’s America. The self-proclaimed visual artist and digital storyteller, Shilo Shiv Suleman, has harnessed the power of activism through art and technology to support the feminist movement.
Technology and Magic
It all started on her blog.
At 16, Suleman began posting pictures, writing, and artwork from her daily life and travels. Soon after, she had a community of followers who were inspired by her artwork and ideas.
“In India, we’ve always had really beautiful ancient rituals and stories. And as a contemporary storyteller, it becomes really interesting to see how I can bring back that magic into the digital world somehow” -Shilo Shiv Suleman, Cisco, 2012
In a 2011 TED talk, Suleman expressed a fear that we hear a great deal in recent years: that technology is taking away from life experiences. In response, she created a way to use technology that would bring back the magic through digital storytelling. She illustrated and designed Khoya, an iPad app that is also an interactive storybook.
The Fearless Collective
In reaction to a horrific gang rape that happened in Delhi, India in 2012, Suleman created the Fearless Collective. This group of activists, artists, photographers, and other creatives use art to speak out against gender violence, redefine fear and femininity, and embody fearlessness.
Pulse and Bloom
Carrying on with her work of incorporating technology in art, Shilo Shiv Suleman collaborated with other artists, neuroscientists, and architects to create the art installation, “Pulse and Bloom.” This installation is a collection of 10-14 feet tall Lotuses with LED lights and sensors that pulse to the beat of your heart when you touch them. After a few moments, everyone who is touching a flower will find that their Lotus, and therefore their heart, is pulsing to the same rhythm as everyone else, like magic.
“We want to use technology to make our inner invisible worlds more visible. Using visual representations of our inner state, we aim to create group experiences of magical synchronicity that makes us more aware as individuals and more connected as a community.”
In 2016, Suleman teamed up with FRIDA, an organization whose mission is to fund and support young feminist groups around the world. The partnership is named FearlesslyFRIDA. The Fearless Collective teams up with FRIDA grantee feminist groups across the globe to promote empowerment through art and activism workshops.
Shilo Shiv Suleman is an artist with an eye for creativity and a mind ready for revolution. You might not be an artist or an activist...but everyone can appreciate a little magic.