According to Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg’s recent book on feminism, Lean In, her favorite quote is from a poster in Facebook’s offices which says, “What would I do if I was not afraid?” She uses this motto to motivate working women in the U.S. When that quote is contrasted against the situation the Nigerian schoolgirls face, it puts it in a different perspective. Since Sandberg is a click away from over 11 million Facebook users in Nigeria and a billion around the world, and a few of them must know exactly where these girls are located, she has the power to do something much bigger than a book or a speech – on a global scale – to help women. One might ask her what she is so afraid of? So this artwork critiques feminists for leaning in too much, and not out enough– into the world. It also asks artists if they are afraid to make art that critiques extremists.
The A’s in the text art are symbolic of the three straight-A schoolgirls who boarded a plane in London on February 20th (2015) and flew to Istanbul where they would then go on to join ISIL. The art comments on how the Boko Haram and ISIL use social networks such as Facebook to recruit young girls and boys. When the Boko Haram announced it had formed an alliance with ISIL, it did so via Twitter. In fact, Facebook is profiting from these terrorists as they make money from ads on their pages. (And every youtube video of a beheading by ISIL or a threat by the Boko Haram begins with a cute advertisement.) A recent report by J.M. Berger of the Brookings Institution states ISIL has over 46,000 Twitter accounts.
Mixed media on paper
60" x 44"