This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : womens-history-month

post image

Women’s History Month 2012: ’31 ladies who rock’ countdown!: Jamilah King

With dangerous bills out there and oppressive sentiment from right wing radicals saturating the media, I am happy to take the next 30 days to spotlight women in my life who are living their dreams and helping others in the process. Check out amazing lady #4:

Jamilah King

Who Is She?
Jamilah King: news editor and media reform reporter at

Born and raised in San Francisco — now residing in Brooklyn, New York

Known for
– Being a former McNair scholar and Kopkind Fellow
– Previous role as Associate Editor at WireTap Magazine
– Her writing on, New America Media,, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Alternet, and Racialicious
– Frequently appearing on community radio and at media conferences around the country
– Talking about race in a meaningful, engaging way
– Being an avid basketball fan and a recovering music junkie

I met Jamilah for the first time in February — we both participated in Paper Tiger Television’s 30th anniversary panel on radical media. I was moderating and Jamilah was one of the awesome panelists. I didn’t know about her prior to the event but I was impressed by her body of work while doing a little research before the panel.

Why Jamilah rocks
I just really appreciate it when successful women of color are open and proud about being raised by a single mother and overcoming financial hardships together. I love this quote from Jamilah about her relationship with her mother:

“We are, for all intents and purposes, each other’s anchors.”

I can relate to Jamilah’s coming out story and (now that I know about her work) I eagerly anticipate her articles on They are always in-depth, thoughtful think pieces that are accessible — they really draw you into the issues and help you to understand all the factors. She’s an excellent info parser and translater and uses her position to amplify voices — many that often go unheard by mainstream media. She rocks, OK???

For all profiles this month, visit my Women’s History Month page.

post image

Women’s History Month 2012: ’31 ladies who rock’ countdown! and why artist Aissata Pinto da Costa is amazing

With dangerous bills out there and oppressive sentiment from right wing radicals saturating the media, I am happy to take the next 30 days to spotlight women in my life who are living their dreams and helping others in the process (here’s the first in the series). Check out amazing lady #2:

Aissata Pinto da Costa with one of her first paintings

Who Is She?
Aissata Pinto da Costa: Renaissance Woman. Artist. Activist.

A true citizen of the world, Aissata has lived in six countries and speaks five languages fluently. She is a native of São Tomé and Principe, West Africa, and presently resides in Brooklyn.

Known for
– Her incredible (and large) paintings that have been exhibited at venues including Marymount Manhattan College and The Steuben Glass Gallery (New York). She has garnered the attention of art-lovers world-wide, and has an international collector base.

Male Runners (60in x 72in / 1m52 x 1m83)

– Modeling for many years in Paris, where she developed an interest in fabrics, textiles, patterns and the form of the human body, all of which are expressed in her art.

– Being an autodidact: Aissata has taught herself many skills and continually experiments with new techniques and materials. When she was unable to locate African-style dishes, she opted to paint a line of her own by hand. Her collections were discovered and produced by the Portuguese tableware house, Vista Alegre, to great success.

– Exercising daily: She brings the concepts of discipline, physical activity, strength and joy to inform her artistic practice. Running, cycling and practicing yoga and pilates are ways Aissata stays connected to her own body and the physicality of the figures she paints on her canvases.

I met Aissata last year through a friend. The first time I saw her art was in her apartment, where she had many of her earlier works and works in progress on display. I was shocked and impressed when she told me that she taught herself how to paint and actually saw her first painting. I couldn’t afford to buy it so I bought a tshirt that had the image on it ;).

Why Aissata rocks
Subscribe to Aissata on Facebook and find out for yourself! But I’ll share some of the reasons she rocks my world: I love her work ethic and creative output, her inspirational quotes and thoughts that she shares on Facebook on a daily basis (love the motivation!), her confidence and her insight into politics/social issues.

If you want a working artist’s influence in your life, do yourself a favor and follow Aissata. Even better — check out some of her work and if it moves you (it will), purchase a piece of Aissata’s art for your home, workplace or for a loved one.

"Husbands" by Aissata - Acrylic On Canvas ( 36in x 24 in/ 0.92m x 0.61m ) From the series “12 Love Stories”- 2010

post image

Women’s History Month 2012: ’31 ladies who rock’ countdown! and why AM is amazing

I’m carrying over my spotlight on rad creative ladies in my life into Women’s History Month, which kicks off today!

With dangerous bills out there and oppressive sentiment from right wing radicals saturating the media, I am happy to take the next 30 days to spotlight women in my life who are living their dreams and helping others in the process. Here we go:

AM working on her mural on a rooftop in Paris (2010). Photo by Daniela Capistrano

AM working on a rooftop in Paris at the historical Marche Malik (2010). Photo by Daniela Capistrano

Who Is She?
AM on the streets, Alice Mizrachi when she’s in curator/social entrepreneur/educator/community organizer mode.

A globetrotter, but she was born and raised in Queens.

Known for
Incredible murals that incorporate representations of female empowerment and social commentary
– Co-founding Younity in 2007, a global community of women artists who organize shows and events, all while teaching the next generation what goes into the process and how to successfully spread artistic ideas
– Her commissioned work for clients and brands that is informed by her social justice goals, such as her latest collaboration with the CHEVY SONIC Urban Art Project:

I met AM in late 2008, while doing research for a story I was producing for MTV News. I went to a Younity show in Greenpoint (where I finally met graffiti legend and activist Lady Pink!) and was impressed with AM’s professionalism, style and welcoming attitude.

AM and I stayed in touch and in 2010 we decided to create our own artist residency in Paris.

AM's first wheatpaste mission in Paris (2010). Photo by Daniela Capistrano

AM's printmaking workshop with Paris youth at MCV (2010). Photo by Daniela Capistrano

We spent a month living and working together, where I documented Alice’s street art projects and youth workshops on our travel blog Grrrl, We In Paris. Here’s a video I made of our time researching artist squats:

It was an incredible experience (that I am STILL processing) to share physical space with a working artist and to get a fly-on-the-wall look into their creative process from all angles.

Why AM rocks
“Let’s do it.” This is what AM said to me about an hour into our first sit down dinner at a french restaurant in the Lower East Side of New York City. She challenged me to join her in creating our own artist residency in Paris, where we would live and work together — even though she hadn’t seen me in over a year and most of our communication had been through email. That’s her style — she’s bold, creative and isn’t afraid to take risks that further her education and career — like climbing up buildings 😉 She’s living her dreams.

AM adds additional touches to "The Misunderstood Goddess" (2010).
Photo by Daniela Capistrano

I am rarely intimidated by anyone, but after reviewing AM’s work history and learning more about her rep, I was definitely intimidated and it’s part of why I stayed away from her through 2009. But that was stupid. AM has never been anything but 100% supportive of my goals from the moment she’s entered my life and I know I can always reach out to her if I need anything.

I’m inspired pretty much on a daily basis by this woman. Through documenting her experience in Paris, I was forced out of my comfort zones. I faced my fear of heights to climb up on a rooftop with her. I re-evaluated how I defined art as I chased after her on wheatpaste missions. AM is as comfortable doing street art as she is showing in galleries and working with youth as an arts educator. The more she explained her outlook on life to me, the more confidence I felt about creating my own opportunities. She is always giving vocal support to other female artists and is a genuine, down-to-earth and loving person. She’s also a great cook!

AM recently moved into a bigger studio and has several exciting projects unfolding this year. She’s evidence to me that if you put your mind to something and create opportunities for yourself, you can achieve amazing things. Cheers to AM!

If you’re interested in purchasing any of her art (she has affordable options) or commissioning her for a project, contact her at

Here are some photos from our residency. These photos span right before we left for the airport to the end of our time in Paris: