Tania Katan to speak at Heard Museum Aug. 5

Tania Katan created #ItWasNeverADress, a 2015 Internet sensation that made the world look at women’s-restroom-door symbol in a new way.

The symbol on the women’s restroom door hasn’t been the same since earlier this year Tania Katan interpreted it as a symbol of female empowerment, a main topic of a free panel discussion she will lead at the Heard Museum on Aug. 5.

Ms. Katan, a Valley resident, will lead a conversation with local leaders about super heroes in our community, 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, in the Heard’s Steele Auditorium, 2301 N. Central Ave., in Phoenix.

Admission is free for “#ItWasNeverADress: A Conversation about Local Super Heroes.” The event is open to the public.

Earlier this year her medium was a near-universal symbol that Ms. Katan, the curator of code at Scottsdale-based technology company Axosoft, found to need re-interpreting: It’s that figure on the doors of women’s restrooms, which Ms. Katan said to her was not a woman in a dress, but a woman in pants and a blue top wearing a red cape, according to a press release.

And so the hashtag #ItWasNeverADress was born. And her campaign, for Axosoft, became an Internet sensation, picked up by national news outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, Time magazine and Yahoo!, stated the release.

According to the release, Ms. Katan, who is also a performance artist, describes the campaign on the campaign’s website, itwasneveradress.com:

#ItWasNeverADress is an invitation to shift perceptions and assumptions about women and the audacious, sensitive, and powerful gestures they make every single day. In science, technology, arts, mathematics, politics, houses of worship, on the streets, and in our homes, insightful women are often uninvited, overlooked, or just plain dismissed. Through storytelling, community building, innovation and creative disruptions, #ItWasNeverADress will foster necessary conversations, vital voices, and images from around the world that honor ALL women. When we see women differently… we see the world differently!”

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