Women in Conversation Women in Conversation: Friends, Family, & Strangers is a collection of dialogues between women, focused on the impacts of their gender identities on daily life. These conversations feature three types of relationships: family, friends and strangers. Each speaks to our willingness to navigate the depth of intimacy and share our vulnerability. These discussions invite listeners to question perceptions of womanhood, eavesdrop on raw moments, and learn from shared experiences.


When you want to be two places at once, something always has to give a little.
— Kelly Johnson, Family in WIC

Family - Kelly Johnson

In this conversation I sit down with my mother, in which we discuss the topic of gender roles, especially in motherhood. I wanted to learn more about my identity and  I felt it best to go directly to the source of my existence, my mother. As she is the women I come to with all my problems, the focus of this conversation was to listen to her, her story, and her experience (something I should do more of). Listen to how she describes motherhood, her influences, and how her career influenced that.

 

I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to talk with my mom about sensitive subjects and to learn from her experience. I want to thank my mother for always doing her best and for leading by example. She has taught me to keep an open mind, an open heart, and to listen to myself. 

 

I feel like it’s very important to be there for one another because sometimes it does feel like that’s all we have.
— Dominique King, Friends in WIC

Friends - Dominique King & Taniya Moore

Dominique and Taniya are two students at The University of Michigan, navigating life through questioning the world and seeking out a community they feel comfortable in. When approaching the friend conversation I knew I wanted to talk about support and representation. I work with these women and their bond is like nothing else I've ever seen. Listen to how they support each other, and seek out representation.

 

Thank you to Dominique and Taniya for being vulnerable with me and giving me a glimpse into your lives. You both shine so bright and I am honored to call you friends. I hope to be just as inspiring as you two are to me. Thank you. 

 

I always try and figure out who they are first. It’s interesting to see how they present themselves and what they start talking about when you first meet them.
— Kate Arnson, Stranger in WIC

Stranger - Kate Arnson

I met Kate through a mutual art friend. I put a post out into the "interweb" universe requesting for friends to share away, and let people know what my project was. I luckily got a bite, and I was introduced to Kate. Kate is a grad student at U of M studying Civil Engineering. Here we navigate all the awkward firsts of meeting someone new, while discussing how to connect to those we don't know. 

 

I really lucked out by meeting you, Kate. Thank you for being so insightful, for being open, and for offering help to a panicked art student. I'll carry our conversation into many new relationships and can't wait to see how ours unfolds with time.

 

 

Thank You, Ashley Bock, for being there at every stage of this project. I truly couldn't have done it with out you. You are one of my favorite women and you always push me to be better. I'm forever grateful for our friendship and your presence in my life. Congrats, we did it!

Thank You, Mom and Dad, for letting me pursue what I want and for providing a light in several dark, questionable times. I appreciate all that you've done for me and could probably never repay you (literally and figuratively).

Thank You, Sophia & Frank & Brandon, for your support through the many stages and iterations of this project. I am so proud of what it has become. 

Lastly, thank you to all of my participants (special shoutout to Juli Polise and Grace Cho for sitting down with me before the project went the way it did) and to all those I discussed this work with. Your input, ideas, and connections have helped this piece grow.