Em-URGE-ing Voices

Your urgent thoughts, urging action

Summer Series: Artists We Love

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June 2, 2016

Art and the creators behind some of our favorite work have changed as digital media maintains its hold on audiences the world over. Instagram has become the world’s museum, and finding and appreciating art has become easier than ever. This summer, we want to take a minute to appreciate some of our favorite artists who create work that inspires and excites us as reproductive justice advocates, intersectional feminists, and culture agitators. Click here to see more from the Artists We Love series.

Artist: Sonya Renee, Writer

What encouraged you to become an artist?
I have always been an artist since I was a child. I started writing poetry in 6th grade. I went to performing arts schools from middle school through high school. I sang in Concert Choir and did plays in college. When art is absent from my life I stop thriving.  Every time.  When the universe provided me the opportunity to make artistry my career, it felt in alignment with my soul needed to be doing.  It’s been an amazing ride.

What is one of your favorite pieces that you have created over the years?
That’s like asking a parent which kid is their favorite. Even if they have one they are never supposed to say it out loud. lol.  I will always love The Body Is Not An Apology and what that poem has been able to create in the world, something so beyond itself.

Who are the artists or activists that inspire you?
I am inspired by the work of transformation in the world, so every artist and activist ushering that moves me.  Of course, the women who founded the Black Lives Matters movement. The fact that Lucille Clifton has written poems that I have occasion to quote when speaking to the power and resilience of black women almost daily inspires me regularly. So many of the folks using the lens of Reproductive Justice to connect issues of gender, sexuality, race and more is so profoundly moving to me.

Do you have any advice for budding talent out there?
Study your craft. Study the things you think you will hate. Be a beginner even when you are not. You will always learn more when approaching life with beginner’s eyes.
Want more Sonya Renee? Visit her website and get tickets to this year’s Generation 2 Generation Awards & Celebration, where Renee will be emceeing for the night!

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