Food of Liberation (New York City)

In Japan, Nyotaimori, or “body sushi,” is the practice of serving sushi and sashimi from the body of a naked woman. The Advice Project’s Food of Liberation project is a series of new feminist culinary events that play off the idea of serving food from a woman’s body. But rather than serving a meal from the body of naked woman, we’ll serve it from her mind.

Once a month, a woman who has lived under the mantle of oppression will join us for a meal and round-table discussion in a private home setting in New York City. Some meals will be fancy, some will be simple. The setting could be a raw loft in Brooklyn or an exquisitely decorated luxury condo in Manhattan. Diners won’t know the location of the event until the week before the event. What’s important is that women are able to share their stories of oppression, that we can facilitate important discussions, and that you’re provided with a unique culinary and cultural experience that you’ll never forget.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“What is your definition of feminism?” [***VIDEO PROJECT*** by AP students/youth leaders]

During the 2015 Advice Project Global Leadership Summit in Peru, teen and youth leaders Gaelle Mambo Awah, Sofe Cote, and Hannah Miller conducted a series of interviews that explored definitions of feminism and asked not only why the feminist movement is important, but also how it can be made more accessible to all people. Special thanks to adult leaders Jenn Miller, Saskia Layden, Courtney Webster, and Blessing Nabila Fomuso for participating in these illuminating, important interviews!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Learning about coral reefs at Jacques Cousteau’s Underwater Reserve – Guadeloupe (***WITH VIDEO***)

About 25% of the world’s fish (over 4,000 species!) live on coral reefs, and they provide more than 450 million people with food and income. Reefs create islands through the accumulation of sand and sediment, providing homes to people, birds, and turtles, and they provide shelter so that delicate seagrass beds and mangrove habitats can thrive.

Yet coral reefs are dying. Already, our planet has lost 27% of this important ocean ecosystem. If present rates of destruction are allowed to continue, 60% of the world’s coral reefs will be destroyed over the next 30 years. This would be disastrous, and not only for ocean life. In poor communities, fishing over reefs provides about 50% of the household income to women, making the protection of reefs not only an issue of conservation of biodiversity, but also one of gender equality. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Support The Advice Project!

If you’re looking to make an end of the year charitable donation, please consider supporting The Advice Project. Our work empowers teens and women from around the world by teaching them media and writing skills, and we provide safe adventure programs to help youth explore the world. 

There are three ways you can support us. Learn more, here, and watch a brief message from two of our teens in Cameroon, Shneider and Gaelle.

Thank you, and a very Happy New Year to you and your friends and families. Love and light!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Being around the right kind of people on Christmas (**with music video**)

Henry and Anevay relaxing on Christmas Eve

By Henry Lesser

I’ve had a lot of energy the last few days, but no way to expel it. My first reaction in a situation like this is to shut down and disconnect. While this seems to work while I’m alone, it never goes well when I am surrounded by people. I need to convince myself that it will be good for me to open up and interact. Sometimes, when surrounded by the right people, this works perfectly. Yet I have had so many bad experiences with opening up that it has become very hard for me to do so.

Fortunately, these past couple of days have completely changed my perception of the world. The people I have been around have been so amazing, kind, and hospitable that after only a little while of feeling shut down, I was able to regroup, be present, and come out of my own headspace. The dancing, the fun, the music, the laughter. All of this was able to calm my brain down and I actually had a good time. Weird. Being this happy has not been my norm as of lately. Funny how simply being around a great group of people can make so much of a difference for me. I hope I can keep this up. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“La Mulâtresse Solitude” (Who gets to tell a story?) – Guadeloupe



The Advice Project often asks our students: Who gets to tell a story? During our trip to Guadeloupe, we’ll revisit this question many times as we explore various sites around the island that teach us about the transatlantic slave trade, the indentured servitude of Tamil Indians post-slavery, and the unique music created by islanders who hold the history of this small French territory in their hearts. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Steps of the Slaves – Petit Canal, Guadeloupe

Photo, Melissa Banigan, Advice Project

Photo, Melissa Banigan, Advice Project

During our first days together in Guadeloupe, we’ve talked about who gets to tell a story, and how. We’ve learned a little about the slave trade on this French island territory, as well as how various groups of people functioned post-slavery. Throughout history, it’s traditionally been people with privilege who decide which stories are told. Omitting the horrific realities of the transatlantic slave trade, as well as the experiences and histories of marginalized people, has been a popular method of silencing people without privilege. Thankfully, Guadeloupe is actively trying to honor the memory of the slave trade by setting up La Route de l’Esclave — Traces Mémoires en Guadeloupe (The slave Route — Traces of Memories in Guadeloupe), which is a trail of sites around the islands that teach people about the history of slavery. This is as much an effort to remember the horrors of history as it is to not repeat them.

First on our list of sites to visit was  Les Marches des Esclaves (Steps of the Slaves). Located in the coastal town, Petit Canal, 49 stone steps were carved into the foot of a church. Because of the period when these steps were built, it’s presumed that they were constructed by slaves. Continue reading

Posted in International Advice Project Classes/Summits | Leave a comment

What *Really* Happened in The Witches? (A revisionist, feminist retelling of Roald Dahl’s book, The Witches)

Katherine, reading from "The Witches"

Katherine, reading from “The Witches”

Students in The Advice Project’s Uppity Witches class were asked to rewrite folktales and scenes from books/films in order to illustrate how women characters often receive the short end of the stick.

Katherine tackled Roald Dahl’s story, The Witches. In Dahl’s story, the Grand High Witch is a cruel woman who thinks nothing of offing fellow witches when they question her authority, or of turning children into mice. In the film version, the Grand High Witch, played by Angelica Houston, takes off a mask to reveal her true, hideously ugly visage.

Why is the Grand High Witch so cruel? This is what Katherine attempts to answer by providing the backstory of one of the most evil witches in literature. In Katherine’s story, the Grand High Witch was badly bullied as a child, and was also the subject of witch hunts in Africa (country unknown, although in our Uppity Witches class, we examined contemporary witch hunts in Cameroon and Tanzania). Fortunately, she eventually sees that by being so cruel, she’s playing directly into the hands of the worst evil of all… Patriarchy!

Here’s a video showing Katherine reading an excerpt of her story. Enjoy! (And thanks, Different Directions, for providing us with the space for this wonderful class.) Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What *Really* Happened in Beauty and the Beast? (Two revisionist, feminist retellings of the Disney story)

Talullah reading an excerpt from Belle's diary

Talullah reading an excerpt from Belle’s diary

Students in The Advice Project’s Uppity Witches class were asked to rewrite folktales and scenes from films in order to illustrate how women characters often receive the short end of the stick.

Talullah, Jennie Belle, and Alexander tackled the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. In their retelling, Belle is a budding feminist who lives within a horribly oppressive and patriarchal society. Her father, a man with multiple personalities, oscillates between feeling love and pride for his daughter and anger over her “stupid” feminist notions. He wants her to marry Gaston and fulfill her position in society as a “typical” woman. Gaston, a would-be love interest (at least in his own mind), is angry because another “man” has stepped onto his turf. This “man,” named Stephen, is the sociopathic Beast, and he’ll stop at nothing to make Belle his bride. He drugs and kidnaps Belle, and writes about how he’ll resort to lying to get Belle to love him. Later, in future diary entries, Belle exhibits more than a bit of Stockholm Syndrome because of Stephen’s gaslighting. For now, however, in parts 1 – 4, we begin to get a sense of Belle’s backstory…

Meanwhile, Naomi also tackled the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. In her hilarious version, she wonders why the mothers of many fairytale characters are killed off, discusses Gaston’s hypermasculinity and desire to “extend his family tree,” illuminates Belle’s subjectification (a character only seen for her beauty), and also exposes the inanity of a woman (Belle) falling in love with an animal (the Beast). She ends by saying, “they all live happily ever after,” which, by this point, feels pretty silly.

Without further ado, here’s what REALLY happened in Beauty and the Beast. First, the videos by Talullah, Jennie Belle, and Alexander (in four parts), and then Naomi’s video. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sign up for Winter 2015-2016 Advice Project Classes in NYC!

Image: detail of Paper Towel (sc)Roll by Melissa Banigan

Image: detail of Paper Towel (sc)Roll by Melissa Banigan

Below is information about two Advice Project winter classes for teens or pre-teens of all genders. We’re continuing with our popular Uppity Witches class and are pleased to offer a new class called the Advice Project After School Artivist Collective that uses art and words to fight gender inequality.  Continue reading

Posted in Teen Classes | Leave a comment