Meet Morgan Pansing of Vote Your Change, the stunning campaign using photography, artful protest signs and women of all backgrounds & ethnicities to call attention to women’s political and social needs, and actually inspiring us to go vote!
Deep into the trenches of Insta scrolling I was halted with an audible “Ohhhhh’ when the first Vote Your Change photo came into focus. The black and white photo emanated power like nothing I had seen before. Standing strong, staring deep through the lens and into the consciousness of this country, a woman, unknown to me but representing the mob of awakening and angry women, held a sign demanding to “Believe Womxn.”
The photo is a resilient declaration to not only believe women but to care for us. Caring so much that you are willing to go against the comfort of the majority (looking at the 53% of white women who voted for Trump) and vote out the misogynistic cancerous cells sitting at the top of our system. Vote Your Change campaign represents ALL of that and so much more — like the raw beauty of female connection, motherhood, racial injustices, environmentalism and the need for a creative community.
The vulnerability in this project is palpable and simultaneously its source of strength. And with emotions like that, you KNOW the makers behind the campaign HAVE to be magic. And to no one’s surprise, they are.
Morgan Pansing, the LA-based and divinely talented photographer behind Vote Your Change, shared with us the ideation, manifestation and creation of the campaign and where she hopes it goes next. Enjoy — and VOTE!
Lady We Love: Morgan Pansing, Photographer Behind Vote Your Change
Let’s start at the beginning — what inspired you to launch Vote Your Change? Was there a certain catalyst event (vote/decision/tweet) where you said, ‘Enough – I need to do something!’?
After witnessing the Kavanaugh hearings I was devastated and heartbroken and REALLY PISSED off. I had wanted to create images that reflect this time in which we are living and made a political statement for a while. And after witnessing the blatant display of misogyny and patriarchy that confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, I knew that I could not remain silent. I met with my dear friends and amazing activists Lulu Brud and Gabrielle Weissman and we created our Vote Your Change campaign.
How did the idea begin to take form? What was the creative process of bringing this to life?
I had been so inspired by the way that Lulu was processing the Kavanaugh hearings. We met for coffee and discussed how we could champion Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and all women. The project is visually inspired by the Civil Right’s Movement and the Women’s Marches, as well as the Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues video.
In addition to your stunning photography, the signs are a work of art in and of themselves. Can you share about the creation of the artwork — both what is written and the spirit behind the words?
Our artist Gabrielle Weissman is nothing short of a genius. I give her full credit for each amazing sign that she made by hand. Lulu had an amazing list of ideas of things to put on the signs and then we reached out to the women that we were shooting with to hear their thoughts and ideas about the signs that they wanted to hold.
What is your goal with this project?
Well, I think our ultimate goal is to help turn the direction of our country by getting the vote out. I’m hoping that we can all make our voices heard in this Midterm Election. And then I’m hoping we will get the vote out in 2020 and get a wonderful leader who shares our values in the White House.
(Need a guide to the California Propositions? Check out the Ladies Aloud Voter’s Guide)
It’s been a particularly rough few months (see also: forever) for women, why do you think this project is particularly important at this time?
Witnessing a hero like Christine Blasey Ford get bullied by a bunch of old white senators was truly disheartening and deeply disturbing. I was shocked that in light of the “me too” movement the political system we have in place in this country is still so misogynistic and frankly behind the times as far as I’m concerned.
But the other side of this conversation is that 53% of white women voted for Trump. As I understand it, white women have a lot of power in turning this country around and I want to help those women who might be confused about which way to vote, to understand what is at stake here. I want them to be educated; I want to help mobilize that vote because together we can turn this country around.
What has been your favorite part of creating Vote Your Change?
The amazing coming together of our incredible community of strong women.
Have current events or politically-charged projects always been a part of your work?
This is my first politically- charged project, and perhaps my favorite project to date.
As a creative, how do you stay grounded and inspired when the world around you feels chaotic and disjointed?
My children, husband, dear friends and family keep me grounded and always remind me about what is most important in this world.
Any plans post-election for how to keep the light of Vote Your Change burning?
We plan to keep the project going strong leading up to the 2020 election, which I think will be the most impactful election of our time.
What advice would you give people who are trying to find ways to create change or creatively use their skills in a positive, impactful way, but are just feeling stuck?
Gather a group of fellow creatives who inspire you and just connect and get a conversation started! I always find so much inspiration in my fellow female artists and creatives.
How can people be involved or support you if interested?
Please follow @voteyourchange on Instagram and if you want to be involved as we move forward and figure out our next steps, you can email us at voteyourchange @gmail.com.