One photographer gave women who feel silenced the chance to be heard.

The 2016 election inspired a cultural motion. But not everyone feelings represented.

#Resistance has been trending. People are protesting for what they believe is right: women’s rights, refugee rights, immigrants’ rights. An America that lives up to its ideals.

The Womens March brought out record numbers of people across the country who were angry and desperate for change. But as inspirational as those marchings were, many communities still feel like their voices arent being heard.

“The world needs active global citizens who stand together in unity and solidarity. This is not the time to become complacent. This is the time to finally espouse each other irrespective of colour, race, gender, religious preferences and even personal choices.” Afrodita. All images via Alanna Airitam, used with permission.

Alanna Airitam, a San Diego-based photographer, reached out to women who feel stillness.

Although I was inspired to see how many people came together for the protests after the inauguration, I was equally discouraged to see that once again, it was the white majority whose voices were the loudest, Alanna writes on her website. If we are really trying to move towards all-inclusive, progressive change, shouldnt we not only hear from, but understand the needs of the people who so rarely get to be heard?

Alanna Airitam.

She wanted to know how other women from marginalized communities felt. She wanted to set her own impressions into context. So she generated “Being Heard: Between the Margins, ” a photo essay series documenting a variety of perspectives.

What it objective up being was sort of, for me, a lesson in listening to people. Letting people to speak, to be heard, to be seen, without any decision, Alanna says.

“Why am I the only disabled person in the room when I go to an Indivisible Session? Is it apathy or is it anxiety? Its not that our voices arent being heard. We need to show up first to do the yelling. Were not showing up. We need to show up.” Bhavna

I’m a black female in an America that frequently feigns everything is OK and abhor, oppression, and inequality are things of the past. The election unearthed a lot of impressions for me.

I signed up to be a part of the project. I went into her studio. I told my side of the tale. And I heard hers.

We sat in a room together for over two hours, and it felt like a therapy conference.

I shared my fears that the resistance movement is nothing more than a trend. So many people want to tell their children that they stood on the right side of history, but how does that translate into their daily interactions? What are they doing after they ventilate their frustration on Facebook?

She should be pointed out that small moments of human connect are being lost as we move through this world with our eyes on our devices , not watching one another.

As we spoke, I forgot about her camera. I got to be in the moment, learning with her. It was cathartic. I walked away feeling more whole.

“Some of us have lived with this reality our entire lives. There is no going home and taking our skin off. There is no escape , no option to step away.” Me

What started as a quest to hear and hear anything yielded a surprising conclusion.

We genuinely are all struggling with the same thing. Were all struggling to fit in somewhere, to be accepted. Were all looking for that belonging, Alanna says.

Setting changes aside and listening to each others’ experiences is the only way to begin to heal as a community and is putting forward.

“To be fully heard and received … ah, what a gift that would be! I can count on one hand how many times I have felt listened to and validated while discussing the subject of skin color.” Ana

After participating in the photo series, meeting the many women who were a part of it, hearing their narratives, and sharing my own, I genuinely believe the track forward begins with empowering communities to share their truth and taking the time to listen. Because their voices deserve to be heard.

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