Go Girls, a place of chatter and freedom

Lucy Marmis is a freelance press officer and Chloe Barabe is a musician in the garage rock band We Hate You Please Die. Both set up the Go Girls Instagram page dedicated to women working in culture. The concept is simple, a photo and then three questions: “Who am I?”, “Obstacles faced?”, “Causes help?”. A concise format that allows you to discover the profiles and journeys of strangers and acquaintances of all ages and walks of life Meeting with Lucy Marmiesse.

How was Go Girls born?

I launched the platform in October last year, so it’s pretty recent. In addition to my activities as a press officer, I do photography and I had the idea to launch this Instagram page because I heard a lot of testimonials from different people, friends, meetings that I did. And I got really upset. I wanted to do something on my scale. Making things happen is a big word. But I wanted to create this place of sisterhood, of freedom of speech, of faith. I talked about it with Chloe who thought the project was great and she joined. I want this project to create a little awareness. And there are a lot of initiatives, more women on stage, majors… I think with all these initiatives we will be able to speed things up.

Why do you think it is important to highlight women in culture?

Because we don’t do it enough. And because they must redouble their efforts. This is what emerged from the various testimonials on the page. They have to do ten times more than men to find a place for themselves and make themselves heard.

Lucie Marmiesse and Chloé Barabé © Go Girls

Are there any similarities between the testimonials you have collected?

Yes of course. It’s double the work as I said. Sexist comments. For example, during concerts, when musicians go on stage, we think that they are the children of other members of the group. And then it goes from simple sexist comments during professional parties to harassment or sexual assault.

And then the border between professional and personal space in the music industry is porous.

Yes absolutely. Even in movies. We posted testimony from Margaux who said she was assaulted at a professional evening. I was talking to a stylist who works in movies. He told me that unlike music, they don’t necessarily have parties. But this workplace does not necessarily protect them from sexist reflections. But this was not the thing where you might find yourself alone in the evening. Going home alone, or having to cope GHB.

How do you find women who testify on Go Girls?

Over the past few months, some have come to write to us directly on Instagram. And then if not it’s really word of mouth. Actually I started Go Girls, right before the MAMA festival in Paris, where I was photographing. I was able to communicate. As soon as I meet someone, they will tell me that one of their acquaintances might be interested in my project. And even today the people I meet put me in touch with other people. Go Girls portrays a lot of people who work in music, because I also work in the industry and so it’s easy to gather contacts but I really try to expand. Because Go Girls is about women in culture, not just music. There are photographers, writers, girls who work in theatre, cinema. I’m looking for people who are working in tech right now with really diverse profiles.

And then how does it happen? How do you proceed?

Usually I interact with these ladies on Instagram. I ask them if they want to testify. Then we fix an appointment, meet. We usually drink coffee. We take pictures and I ask them to send their testimonials. Sometimes they do it earlier. Chloé, she took care of the logo. She designs testimonials for Instagram.

Is it difficult for these women to testify? Did anyone deny it?

For some it is complicated. There are some for whom it takes months for me to send them their testimonials. Talking about yourself is already a complicated exercise, but letting yourself go is something even more complicated. For example, there’s a person who sent me his testimonial and he told me he wasn’t ready to post it right away, he needed to get back to it. I’ve also met people who have told me that writing this testimony has helped them, that they didn’t necessarily take the time to go back over what happened before, and that this writing has given them some relief.

Is this word complicated to accept?

Around November-December, I got a whole bunch of testimonials. And it was hard at first. I’m a pretty sensitive person and I had a hard time putting on a protective filter. I think I took a step back and I have to. If you’re a sponge, you can’t do it. Then, Go Girls is still positive, I want it to be. Which is why there are questions about the factors that help overcome barriers. I don’t want it to be a one off thing. I wanted an opening, so that future generations could be inspired by it. Give them examples. I just turned 35 and for my generation, we didn’t have that platform as a teenager. Even girls on stage, in high school, it was rare. My reaction was what told me that reading all these testimonials was inspiring. And then suddenly, it’s introduced to people, structures to expand a network.

Had a go girls party a few weeks ago, are you planning to host others?

It was an informal thing among the witnessing girls, so that they all met. I am thinking of preparing an evening a little more with a conference, concert, a photo exhibition. But more preparation is required. We will have other informal evenings where people can talk to each other. And then on September 18 we will attend the Matrimony Day in Evreux. There will be round table, conference.

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