Guest speakers for WAM! It Yourself Conference, LA

WAM!LA will be hosting its next WAM! It Yourself Conference from 15 to 22 March 2014.

Ahead of this exciting event, you can find out more about some of the  guest speakers we have invited by reading their biographies below. Click here for more information about the conference and the full list of events.

Guest speakers

  • Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (Stop Telling Women to Smile) is an illustrator/painter based in Brooklyn, mostly known for her oil paintings. Having recently branched out into public art as a muralist, STWTS was born out of the idea that street art can be an impactful tool for tackling street harassment.
  • Courtney Sauls is a yogi and actress and with these two passions she finds ways to transform and discover something new everyday.  While completing her final year at New York University receiving a BFA in acting, Courtney found yoga.  Yoga is a teaching of being where you are and loving yourself completely and from that place of gratitude moving forward.  This is what drives Courtney to teach others, to try new things, and above all live a life full of expression.  Her most recent film, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, was a Sundance film festival winner and you can catch her teaching at in Silverlake and in Burbank.
  • Jennifer Wilson founded Control Top to create a space for female content creators to support one another through collaboration and cross-promotion.  Women are so often potrayed in the media as being catty and endlessly pitted against one another.  She wanted to show that in actuality, women are truly invested in one another’s success and creative potential. Before Control Top, Jennifer was a Ph.D. student in Women’s Studies and Russian Literature at Princeton University.  She also hold a B.A. from Columbia University. She has have taught courses on literature and women’s studies at Princeton University and at the University of Netherlands, and has written articles on women writers and contemporary Feminism in both U.S. and international publications.
  • Mara Tasker is an Associate Producer at Vice Media and an independent writer/director who studied film around the world before moving to Los Angeles to work in Independent Film Finance at WME Talent Agency. Mara received her BFA in Film Production at CU Boulder. In addition, she studied producing at Oxford Media School in Oxford, England as well as Italian Neo Realist filmmaking at John Cabot University in Rome. Before graduating from Boulder, Mara created and produced the avant-garde dance short PLASTIC BALLAD with dancer Esmeralda Kundanis-Grow, which played at several festivals around the world, including the Boston Underground Film Festival and the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema. After working at WME Talent agency for two years, Mara wrote and directed the short film LATENT which earned her an invitation to speak at the Valsele Film Festival in Italy. In 2012, she worked in development with Tobey Maguire before moving on to write for screenwriter Drew Pearce. Aside from her work in the industry, Mara continues to write and produce independently and is currently working on a slate of features as well as launching the Chattanooga Film Festival in Tennessee under her banner, Navona Films. She is currently raising money through Seed & Spark for her latest short film, SHEILA SCORNED, a grindhouse thriller written as a cheeky revenge fantasy in response to headlines of violence against women around the world.
  • Shaunelle Curry is the creator and Executive Director of Media Done Responsibly (formerly Mother’s Day Radio), a movement calling for a day to rest from the denigration and sexual objectification of women on urban radio, replacing it with a day to elevate women with music that honors their traditional greatness. She published her first book in 2003, Shairi’s Journey Through Darkness Into Light, a women’s self-development toolkit that she uses in her Victim to Victor™ workshops. Shaunelle is an author, Masters level educator, and advocate for women and youth. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication and her Master of Arts in Education at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. She boasts over 20 years in child development and education service and over 18 years leadership experience in community development and social and arts programming. Shaunelle writes commentary on women’s issues for the L.A. Watts Times and is a commentator on KPFK’s “Some of Us Are Brave” radio program in Southern California.
  • Francesca Guerrini (Global Girl Media) is an experienced and committed journalist with extensive global experience. As a journalist (written and broadcast) Francesca covered major events in US (political conventions, elections, business news, financial crisis and natural disasters). As a freelance writer for various Italian magazines, she wrote feature stories and interviewed writers, artists, actors and scholars. As an editor for a weekly magazine, Oggi7, published in New York City, she runs the day-to-day activities, assigning and editing contributions. She has a degree in Philosophy from the Universita’ degli Studi di Milano, Italy, and working experience in Italy and in the US (New York City and Los Angeles). Francesca is strategist and catalyst for international change working for non-profit organizations in Los Angeles providing philanthropic management and empowering the lives of young girls.

This conference has been organised by Melanie Klein  and Holly Derr.