It feels like there's been a shift in the media world over the past few years — it's not yet seismic, but it's definitely noticeable. More and more women are demanding that their voices be heard and their stories be told. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey won a Pulitzer prize for their coverage of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Frances McDormand encouraged Hollywood to embrace the inclusion rider in her Oscar acceptance speech. And last week, 82 women staged a powerful protest at Cannes, calling for better representation of female filmmakers at the illustrious film festival.
Mariane Pearl and the team at Chime For Change are also helping to lead this movement. Gucci founded the organisation in 2013 to help amplify the voices of women and girls around the world. And in the summer of 2017, Pearl and 14 female storytellers from around the world gathered in Paris for the second Women Bylines, a five-day intensive journalism workshop.
Pearl says the storytellers involved with Bylines recognise that this is a pivotal moment in history for women's rights. "For me, the highlight is to witness over and over — and in dramatically different settings — how much women, ordinary or not, are committed to justice," Pearl says. "They have a carnal understanding of what it really means and entails.
Refinery29 is thrilled to share five of the films created during last year's workshop. Pearl is already planning for the next Women Bylines and hopes for the workshop to become a regular program for Chime For Change. "The collection of these individual stories told by and about women from across all possible contexts, cultures, places, and regimes should provide a fascinating canvas of female potential to rescue the world from its own greedy and destructive tendencies."