My name is Johanna Sova and I started to work for The Kota Alliance as an intern last week. I’m graduating soon from the University of Oulu in Finland, majoring in Educational Psychology. My minor is Women and Gender Studies which I’ve been studying for the last five years.
Interning for The Kota Alliance is a dream come true as it is the perfect chance to learn how to implement my theoretical knowledge into practice. The environment is greatly inspiring and I’m grateful for the chance to meet new people every day working in the field of women’s empowerment. New York City has been the most welcoming which I’m going to show you by sharing some photos I’ve taken during my first week here.
My internship started on Saturday Sept. 10 by participating in Gina LaMorte’s Designing Your Dream Conference that was held at the Women’s Lab at the Centre for Social Innovation where Kota’s office is also located. Gina LaMorte had a lot to say about making our dreams come true. She’s a woman who talks from her heart and her experience for she’s a living example of a strong, successful woman who has made her dreams come true. She was accompanied by Kris Miyake, they both gave speeches encompassing both their personal and professional life. We were assigned a task to design our dream by cutting words and pictures from papers. Here’s a photo of The Kota Alliance’s dream plan about realizing a World Center for Women:
On Monday September 12 we went to a guest screening of Priscilla Yawa Anany’s film Children of the Mountain in the NYU Global Center for Academic & Spiritual Life. It turned out to be a strong, empowering film about a mother in Ghana and her struggle to find a cure for her disabled child. It was a great honor to see the film with Anany herself presenting it and telling about the journey from the idea to the realization. The amazing actors, the colorful, patterned fabrics worn by the women and the explicit depiction of social relationships all made watching the film a highly emotional experience.
The powerful, empowering message of the film to all women facing the situation of both them and their child being questioned by their families and social environment in general was summed up in a poem by Anany’s friend Portia Essuman:
“Fear of offense makes a woman swallow poison….do not swallow the poison, for there is no justice in death.”
I ended my first week by attending New York Art Book Fair that was held on Sunday Sept. 18 at MoMA PS1. The event offered a lot of inspiration and thoughts to think considering my work at The Kota Alliance. To end my post I share with you a few photos I took during my first week in New York.