Micah Bazant is a visual artist and graphic designer who works with social justice organizers to make change look irresistible. They are also an anti-zionist jew and identify as timtum (one of six jewish gender categories). Micah creates art inspired by struggles to decolonize ourselves from white supremacy, patriarchy, ableism and the gender binary, and how to reimagine ourselves in right relation to the planet in the face of climate change.
Micah was a participating artist as well as Art Director on this project. Trans Day of Resilience grew out of their work over the past 6+ years, making art with trans women and trans femmes of color who are organizing for liberation in their communities. These visionaries include TGI Justice Project and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Sex Workers Organizing Project and Monica Jones, Audre Lorde Project and Alok Vaid-Menon, and Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement and Jennicet Gutiérrez. Micah tries to portray people with love and respect to benefit their work artistically and materially, as a practice of accountability and solidarity. Shop
“This project is a dream made real. It’s one of the things in my entire life I’m most proud of. It’s truly an honor to work with the trans visionaries at Audre Lorde Project and the incredible allies at Forward Together, and build new ways of transforming the world through art and organizing, together. This project is an offering to all our trans ancestors who fought and died before seeing this moment, and to all our siblings yet to come who will be freer than we can even imagine.”
Wriply Marie Bennet is a painter and illustrator, born and raised in Ohio. She uses her art to uplift her sisters in the black lives/ black transgender lives movement. She works in ink, watercolor and other mediums, and her art comes from an untrained perspective. She never aspired to attend college to study art, and there are no degrees to speak of other than a high school diploma. Her art is proudly self-taught. Her organizing work started with the Trans Women of Color Coalition, and she has been an activist since Ferguson, where she was a freedom rider traveling to stand with the family and community of Mike Brown.
Wriply’s work expresses the power, strength, and resilience that trans women of color have to persevere, and the grace and beauty of her culture. Her work uplifts the young black trans women we’ve lost and continue to lose every year, and sheds light on the fact that there has been no national outcry. Wriply’s art has been used in countless social justice flyers, and in November will be making its first film debut in MAJOR!, a documentary at the 2015 San Francisco Transgender Film Festival.
Wriply is much more than a visual artist; she’s also a singer/song writer, actor, screenplay writer, story teller, cartoonist, and fashion designer. She continues to work and fight for justice! For art will travel.
“Being part of this project means that we are gathering. We are spreading our energies & our culture amongst the masses. This project is a great way to have a platform to introduce all people to trans women and trans life, and it is extremely important trans women are able to mediate this conversation. Mediation through art is one of the most beautiful ways we can transmit our own lives.”
Adelina Cruz is a queer gender non-conforming Xicanx artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico. They are a self-taught artist who uses art as a voice and a means to create social, cultural and personal change. Their art is influenced and inspired by their life experiences, intersections of identity, culture and community. Art is their way of expressing, healing, connecting, and sharing their passion. Their medium of choice is acrylic and oil painting, as well some graphic design. They believe that they were given the capability and responsibility of an artist in order to give back and use their gifts to create change. They strongly believe art can be used as a way to teach, empower, and heal, not only them self, but our communities as well.
“For me, participating in this project means that me, along with other 7 TGNC artists, are given the opportunity to have our voices heard and visions seen. It means our identities and talents are acknowledged, affirmed and uplifted. For me, participating in this project means that I accept the responsibility and commitment in supporting the trans justice movement leadership visually, with beautiful artwork that aims to elevate trans women’s lives with respect and dignity.”
Mohammed Iman Fayaz
Mohammed Iman Fayaz is a queer Muslim illustrator who makes art under the pseudonym of Mojuicy. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Mohammed illuminates the otherwise esoteric experience of being a queer person of color in his city. He is intent on documenting his vibrant community through his artwork with themes of intimacy, tenderness, and touch. Shop
“It has been a complete honor to work with Transgender Law Center for this year’s Trans Day Of Remembrance. Speaking to Jill and Isa about the incredible work their organization does on the frontlines moved me in a way that really connected me to their struggle. To try and capture the beauty, strength, and resilience of our transgender sisters in detainment was both a challenge and honor to execute respectfully.”
Ebin Lee is an artist from Chicago currently living in Portland, Oregon. They graduated from Pacific Northwest College of art with a degree in illustration. The majority of their work deals with storytelling through bold expressive line work and imagery.
“To be participating in this project is allowing me to say what I need to say in a form that suits me best. This is emphasized even more with this project because I have a hard time putting how I feel about this topic in words.”
Ethan Parker is a self-taught sequential artist and illustrator living and working in Austin, TX. Their works pulls from social commentary surrounding the intersectionality of being queer, black and trans as a means of uplifting communities of color and amplifying the voices of queer black individuals through visual storytelling. As a budding queer activist, Ethan uses their art as a platform to speak their truths while navigating everyday situations and examining hard truths through a sardonic lens.
“This project allowed me to further explore black trans communities and feel more confident stepping out into the world understanding that I am not fighting alone for equality, understanding and acceptance.”
Bishakh Som is an artist, illustrator and architect from Brooklyn, NY. Bishakh’s comics work has appeared in The Graphic Canon, The Brooklyn Rail, Specs Journal and most recently in the Eisner award-winning Winsor McCay tribute book, Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream. They received a Xeric grant in 2003 for their solo comic book, Angel and illustrated The Prefab Bathroom: An Architectural History, published by McFarland Press in 2015. Bishakh’s work has been shown at Rhode Island College, Grady Alexis Gallery (Manhattan), Issyra Gallery (Hoboken) and in solo shows at ArtLexis Gallery and Jaya Yoga Center in Brooklyn.
“I am thrilled to work with Buried Seedz of Resistance and Forward Together on the Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience 2015: Culture Shift project and to have the opportunity to channel the power of art in the service of Queer/Trans justice.”
Rommy Torrico is a DACAmented, queer, trans (non binary), nonwhite artist and activist born in Iquique, Chile and currently residing in Jersey City. They have been involved in the (im)migrant rights struggle for several years and infuse much of their work with personal experience and the stories their community shares. Rommy is part of a grassroots initiative, the Collier County Neighborhood Stories Project, which believes in the strength our communities have and how powerful stories can really be. Shop
“Being a part of this project is such a gift. As a trans individual and artist, I understand how necessary it is for the communities that are being marginalized to be the ones who are at the forefront of their own liberation. I’m excited to nourish these parts of my identity, to create community and to celebrate all my trans siblings in this struggle. This project also serves as a powerful reminder for me that our beautiful community exists in love and strength.”