My illustration, ‘Sowing dangerous seeds’ is a selected work in the year-long Dangerous Women Project. It is my creative response to the question: what does it mean to be a dangerous woman?

For me, Malala Yousafzai came to mind almost immediately; she is a young woman determined to realise a powerful and positive idea even in the face of danger. Her plight offers an awe-inspiring example of courage, perseverance and strength. True Grit. At a time and place when it was dangerous to speak up, Malala advocated for her personal right, and the right of all girls and women to an education. And, despite being shot in the head at point-blank range for doing so, she continues to stand up for the power of education today.

While the danger faced by Malala does not stand alone – scores of girls and women are yet to realise full and equal rights – she is a recognisable champion for change. It is for this reason that my illustration, ‘Sowing dangerous seeds’, features Malala. Here, she is calmly, resolutely pouring seeds that bear beautiful, but dangerous foliage, which surrounds her and a group of women and girls.

The seeds represent Malala’s ‘dangerous’ idea – that girls have a right to education – while the foliage represents the dangerous environment that this idea can (and does) create. And, thanks to Malala’s activism, the growing global awareness of girls’ right to, and inclusion in, education is represented by the women and girls within the foliage.

I created ‘Sowing dangerous seeds’ by drawing a series of pictures (graphite, aquarelle, pastel), which I integrated and augmented digitally.

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