Jax Smith and Edem K. Garro are co-curating the Open Floor “Weaving Through Life.” For more info, head to the event page on facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi, my name is Jacquline Smith aka Jax and I am a bi-racial, heterosexual, cis-gender female from Nebraska. My twin sister and I were raised by my single, white, lesbian mother in a small white town (Beatrice/Lincoln) surrounded by white friends and white family members. I did not meet my black side of the family until I was 13yrs old. We moved to Omaha my freshman year where attended a predominately white high school (Burke). Today, the majority of people I interact with on a daily basis are white (with the exception of my job at the UNION).
I’ve chosen to emphasize whiteness, because it has shaped my perception of feminism. At a very young age, I learned that one’s race, sexual preference, and socioeconomic status, plays a significant role on how others view/treat an individual– THESE aspects of my being (non-white, poor, daughter of a lesbian) have always seemed to be more of a detriment to my existence than my gender. So when I speak about feminism, intersectionality is always at the heart of it.
I am a teacher, artist (stencil, paint, sketch), and community organizer. As an artist, my work mostly consists of the female form, both it’s beauty and complexity, as well as an exploration of my own multiplicity. As a teacher (Montessori Co-Op and the UNION), I encourage my students to use art to think freely, to learn about themselves, to engage each other, and to explore ideas about everyday life and experiences. As a community organizer (Nasty Women Collective) I co-create platforms by showcasing the work of local artists, in order to help raise awareness and funds for the issues we care about.
Within this past year, activism has become an important part of my life. I believe it is important to use your passions, talents, resources, and privileges to better the world we live in. For me, the Woven project has been a part of that. It is a way to bring people, from all walks of life, together; to interact with one another; to deconstruct and create something new. As a co-curator of the Woven project, the part I found the most enriching were the brainstorming sessions. The different perspectives of the co-curators helped broaden our sense of what intersectional feminism is and the importance of strengthening and shaping that foundation. Which in turn, has expanded the breadth of the project and what it could become. As a result of the discussions, I have chosen to focus on the importance of self-care.
Too often we feel the world pulling us in so many directions. We are just one click away from another horrific tragedy. We try and juggle the demands our daily lives, while struggling to maintain our relationships with loved ones, and endlessly fulfill commitments to a countless number of causes, rallies, marches, and charities. As each thread of our being is tugged upon, we begin to unravel. The fabric of our existence begins to weaken. This is why it is so important to take time to mend yourself. To make time for self-care.