The Mynabird’s Laura Burhenn Takes on Rape Culture

by Samantha Mercado

Rape culture in our society has isn’t anything new but with the rising hate speech during the presidential campaign and the election of the obviously sexist Donald Trump, it seems like our nation is complacent about the awful things being said and done to women. One artist in particular is taking on the fight against rape culture through the power of music. Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds has announced her visual art protest titled “I Know Why I Sing” which doubles as a fundraiser for the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). The artwork includes 30 original gouache and ink birds (framed and signed) coupled with Burhenn’s new track, “Good Medicine.” The song was created in the aftermath of the Brock Turner rape trial and the Trump “Grab them by the pussy” videotape leak.

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While the pieces are on display at the Woodcat Coffeeshop in Echo Park, Los Angeles, through February 11th, they are also available for purchase on Etsy.
Burhenn said about her work: “Each of the birds featured in “I Know Why I Sing” was made in the summer of 2016 as I was writing the song “Good Medicine.” While not everyone is a songbird, each represents the unique voice in all of us, when we chose to lift it — no matter how uncertain or terrified we are to speak up — that can transform a heart, a community, the world.”

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This is not the first time Burhenn has been active in the feminist activism community. She did a TED Talk on a portrait project she did called “The New Revolutionists.” It featured women who were making revolutionary changes in their own communities whether or not they were making headlines, regardless of who held the political power.

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Burhenn’s music is available to listen to on Spotify.

All photos via Laura Burhenn & Girlie Action 

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