International Women's Day: Google Doodle celebrates womanhood and female artists

Cape Town - In honour of the 2018 International Women's Day on Thursday, 8 March, Google Doodle showcased the stories of 12 female artists to celebrate womanhood in all of its forms. The stories are interactive and share a personal tale about the artist and her truth. 

The idea was to tell these stories through a series of visual narratives that represent "a moment, person or event that has impacted their lives as women," according to a Google blog post, while also conveying universal themes of womanhood.

The goal behind the initiative was to create something that grips the viewer visually while simultaneously sharing these important stories and instilling feelings of understanding unto them. 

"We hope that the combined power of words and images help bring these stories to life in a way that invokes feelings of understanding, empathy and spirit of the day," wrote Lydia Nichols and Alyssa Winans, Google's project leads for International Women's Day, in the post.

The 12 artists & their works:

1. Karabo Poppy Moletsane - Ntsoaki's Victory

Kicking off the list is our own local is lekker artist, Korabo Poppy Moletsane who is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work depicts women overcoming barriers, and fighting stereotypes "to pursue their unconventional dream and be the pioneer that opens the door for those with similar dreams to follow suit."

Moletsane also did the artwork for the Grammy nominated music video "Makeba" by the French artist, Jain

See Johannesburg, South Africa below:

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2. Saffa Khan - Homeland

While Khan is based in Machester, United Kingdom, her work is reminiscent of her roots in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan. It looks at the vibrancy and strength from her upbringing and how it influences her work.

See Manchester, UK & Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan below:

3. Isuri Merenchi Hewage - Aarthi the Amazing

Hewage is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka and her work looks at a brave and fearless woman who she hopes will inspire women to "weather through the rough seas of inequality."

See Colombo, Sri Lanka below:

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4. Chihiro Takeuchi - Ages and Stages

Takeuchi is based in Osaka, Japan and her story is one that depicts different generations of women at various times in their lives. Her hopes with the work was that it will inspire people to feel "they are never too old or too young to challenge themselves with new activities, new jobs or new things to learn."

See Osaka, Japan below:

5. Tunlaya Dunnvatanachit - Inwards

Bangkok, Thailand is home to Dunn and her graphic design skills. Her piece looks at the importance of women finding peace, love and power within themselves and not solely from those around them.

See Bangkok, Thailand below:

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6. Anna Haifisch - Nov 1989

Haifisch is based in Leipzig, Germany and her work looks at the groundbreaking historic event of the fall of the Berlin Wall that went down in 1989. It examines how that very moment had allowed her and many other individuals to choose who they want to be in life and what they wish to do with it.

See Leipzig, Germany below:

7. Estelí Meza - My Aunt Blossoms

Depicting the personal story of her aunt's battle with cancer, Mexican illustrator, Meza, looks to showcase the strength that stems from vulnerability. 

See Mexico below:

@miguel_kurz nos presenta esta imagen nocturna - - #mexicodf #ilovedf

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8. Kaveri Gopalakrishnan - On the roof

Based in South India, Gopalakrishnan uncovers the experience of the power of books and words and their transportative tendencies in her doodle.  

"When I was very young and unsure of my own worth, it was reading that saved me," she said. "I didn’t think I had the words to speak out for myself, and so wrote for myself and read other peoples words. Surrounding myself with books — whatever was handy, even labels and instruction manuals — sort of grew me into the person I am today, instead of retreating into a shell."

See South India below:

Venturing through the Kerala backwaters on a houseboat and tiny canoe

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9. Francesca Sanna - The Box

Sanna looks at the importance of communicating with others, even though it can be scary to make yourself vulnerable around others. The artist, born in Italy and now living in Zurich, Switzerland, also examines the value of knowing that you are not alone in your plight and others are willing to help. 

See Italy & Zurich, Switzerland below:

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10. Laerte Coutinho - Love

Coutinho is a Brazilian artist based in São Paulo who had come out as a transgender woman at 60 years old. Her artwork focuses on this and her experience. The piece looks at a love story that she hopes will help people "see how our prejudices many times destroy meaningful possibilities in life."

See São Paulo, Brazil below:


11. Philippa Rice - Trust

Based in Nottingham, England, Rice is behind the popular web comic My Cardboard Life and a 2014 comic book called Soppy, which features the same character as the one in her Google Doodle. The premise of her story featured looks at the trials of motherhood and the importance of finding support. It, Rice says, "is about how overwhelming it is to become a mother and how talking to others and sharing your troubles can make you feel better." 

See Nottingham, England below:

12. Tillie Walden - Minutes

Walden, based in Texas, United States, looks at the minutes of a woman's life as she comes into her own and realises her strength and potential. It explores the trials and tribulations of navigating sexuality, loneliness and self-discovery and showcases how these all contribute to the character's power.

See Texas, US below: