United Nations Foundation WithHer Fund NFT Auction

ArtRepublic Curates A Powerful NFT Auction to benefit UN Foundation WithHer Fund

ArtRepublic, once again joined forces with SuperRare, a discovery marketplace for single edition NFTs, to drop a compelling NFT auction titled “The Resilience of Her Spirit” featuring works by international women photographers. The campaign launched on International Women’s Day, March 8th, with a reserve auction on SuperRare.com. A portion of the NFT sales will benefit the WithHer Fund, a collaboration between the UN Foundation and the Spotlight Initiative.

“The Resilience of Her Spirit” features multiple unique female photographers including Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Inna Modja, Vicki King and Le Fawnhawk, curated by Jessica Santiago & Ivy Bealyer of ArtRepublic. This body of work represents journalistic, surrealism and conceptual photography and has created a powerful collection of NFTs that celebrate the spirit and strength of women from nations around the world. The collection also provides a platform to showcase the works of women artists who are committed to social change, including ending violence against women and girls. 

One in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, and one in five women and girls have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner within the last 12 months. Ten percent of the proceeds of the NFT sales will go to support the WithHer Fund – which provides flexible funds to local, high-impact, frontline, grassroots women’s rights organizations who have been tackling gender-based violence. https://unfoundation.org/the-withher-fund/  

“As the digital art market evolves, photography NFTs are at the forefront on all major platforms,'' said Jessica Santiago, ArtRepublic Founder & CEO. “We have seen the power and abundance a united community can create but, to whom much is given, much is required. It is vital that we harness the resources we are generating through NFTs to create the change we want to see.”  

Artist Profiles

Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

Laylah Amatullah Barrayn is a documentary photographer and writer. Barrayn is a frequent contributor to The New York Times. Her work has also been published in Vogue, National Geographic, The Washington Post, VOX, NPR, BBC, The Nation, Le Monde, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.

Over the last 20 years of her career, Barrayn’s personal and professional projects have taken her to Minneapolis to Malaysia to Martinique, among many global locales where she focuses her inquiries on Black diasporic communities with a special interest in religion, culture, memory and the experiences of women. She also co-authored the independently published MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora, the first anthology in nearly 30 years that highlights photography produced by women of African descent. 

Her work has been included in books such as Black: A Celebration of a Culture edited by Dr. Deborah Willis; Photography, A Feminist History by Emma Lewis, Streams of Consciousness: Bamako Encounters—African Biennale of Photography edited by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng and Ndikung and Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter by Veronika Chambers. A recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, Barrayn has given talks on photography at Yale University, The Tate Modern (UK), RIT, World Press Photo (Amsterdam), The International Center of Photography and Harvard University. She has also sat on the jury for Pictures of the Year International and the Getty Images Array Grant, among other competitions.

She has been exhibited nationally and internationally, with collective shows at the Brighton Photo Biennial in the UK, the Manifesta Biennial in Italy, and the Bamako Biennale in Mali and with solo exhibitions at The Museum of the African Diaspora San Francisco and The Taubman Museum of Art (VA). In 2018, she was included as one of the Royal Photographic Society’s (UK) Hundred Heroines. Barrayn earned an MA in Arts Politics from New York University. She is currently working on a book on contemporary Black photographers.

Inna Modja

“I know that everyone has the possibility of changing things, even if it’s only a little. It makes a difference, it’s not being naive… Whether people have heard about you or not, something happens when you take action.”

Inna Modja is a Malian-French artist, singer-songwriter, actress and activist for women’s rights and climate change. In 2019, she became an UNCCD Land Ambassador for the Sahel and against desertification. Inna was subjected to female genital mutilation when she was a small girl in Mali. The experience left her feeling worthless, but through music she found the power to be strong. Today she speaks of her causes and beliefs through her music, touching on subjects like the war in Mali, access to water, and refugees. Inna’s energy and humanity reverberate through her music and the causes close to her heart. She has had Top 10 hits in Europe and Canada, with some of her most renowned tracks including French Cancan and Tombouctou. In 2015, she released the acclaimed album Motel Bamako and from 2016 to 2018, she performed her live show in festivals and concerts, on five continents.

Vicki King

Vicki King is an artist from the middle of England, now living and working in London. Vicki earned a 1st class degree in photography at London College of Communication in 2012, becoming fascinated by photography’s ability to create a space that lies somewhere between reality and fiction. She is inspired by nature, our emotional connection to the world around us and the hyperreal - creating images that aim to exist in this liminal inbetween, infused by fine details of color, light and texture.

Since graduating she has spent her time working on personal projects and commissions for publications and brands such as Modern Weekly China, Nike, Kenzo, SSAW etc.

Le Fawnhawk 

Le Fawnhawk is a modern surrealist whose work depicts monuments against minimal and ethereal desert landscapes. Le Fawnhawk is based in Los Angeles but she spends a lot of time traveling from one desert to the next across California and the Southwest. The desert is her greatest inspiration. She often places herself in her work wearing monotoned attire standing next to monuments that appear immensely large in comparison to her own stature. The monuments are made of distinct geometric shapes to seek truth in form. In doing so, she aligns herself with nature to visually depict her own journey as she explores herself and the world.

Le Fawnhawk practices with photo collage, video, sculpture, and land art. As an artist whose work extends across media forms it surprises many to learn that she is self-taught. As she strips her work of man made constructs she creates a transcendental realm that reflects the inner workings of her soul.

Charity Profile

WithHer Fund

The WithHer Fund was established in response to intersecting emergencies: chronically insufficient funding for gender-based violence; the historic and continued lack of funding to grassroots women’s groups; the exponential rise of gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic; and the existential threats that these groups face as the need for their services has increased while the funding for their work has dried up during the pandemic.  

Approximately 99 percent of gender-related international aid does not reach grassroots women’s rights and feminist organizations. The WithHer Fund is established to help fill this gap. The Fund aims to offer essential support to smaller organizations through a feminist grantmaking approach, which includes a collaborative and partnership-oriented model of core grantmaking based on unrestricted funding, flexibility, and trust throughout the process.

The WithHer Fund directly supports local grassroots women’s organizations, with a first cohort of grantees in Argentina, Belize, El Salvador, Malawi, Mali, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Argentina: Sordas sin Violencia

Sordas sin Violencia (Deaf Women Without Violence Programme) is the only initiative in Argentina that exclusively works on providing accessible information and support to deaf and hard-of-hearing women and their children who are experiencing violence and discrimination.

Belize: Haven House

Haven House is the only shelter in Belize City providing temporary relief for women and their children experiencing domestic violence.

El Salvador: CEMUJER  

CEMUJER is a feminist human rights institution dedicated to strengthening the rule of law and access to justice for women.

Malawi: Foundation for Civic Education and Social Empowerment (FOCESE)

Founded by young women survivors of child marriage, teen motherhood, and HIV, FOCESE works to ensure young people in Malawi – particularly adolescent girls and young women – are active participants and informed decision-makers of their own lives.

Mali: ONG Tagnè

ONG Tagnè works in the field of reproductive health, GBV and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and forced/early marriage.

Trinidad & Tobago: NiNa Young Women’s Leadership Program

The NiNa program provides life skills, financial literacy, entrepreneurial skills, and tools to help build self-value in young women within the state care system. In recent years, the Program has also worked with the St. Jude’s Home for Girls to help girls develop coping skills to manage past sexual abuse and emotional trauma.

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