Women of Cannabis The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum is proudly hosting the exhibition We Are Mary Jane: Women of Cannabis until September 23rd 2018. In these video interviews, Sensi Seeds spoke with the exhibition curator Simone Badoux and photographer Maria Cavali about their influences, experiences, and explorations as women in the world of cannabis.
Simone Badoux has been working for the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum since the beginning of 2017 in the role of Assistant Manager. She has co-curated the exhibitions ‘The Pope Smokes Dope’ and ‘Cannabis Cuisine’, which were successes in both Amsterdam and Barcelona, and which also appeared at festivals in Spain and the Netherlands.
Simone is responsible for the initial concept of ‘We Are Mary Jane: Women of Cannabis’, the first exhibition at the museum to highlight women at the forefront of cannabis culture.
It comes during one of the most exciting times for women’s emancipation: the fourth wave of feminism, a movement powered by a focus on justice for women, enriched by the inclusion of gender nonconformity, and utilising the previously unavailable communication channels of social media to spread its message.
The world of cannabis – its growers, consumers, aficionados, breeders, historians, researchers and innovators – can be seen as a microcosm of society as a whole. The patriarchal control of economic power are visible in both, with the women interviewed at the exhibition all mentioning the traditional roles of men as sellers, either in coffeeshops or informally.
Women, whether through choice or lack of opportunity, have remained more in the background. However, there is a shift occurring.
The seeds of coffeeshop culture were sown by women
The consensus seems to be that as cannabis legislation changes to create a more legal and therefore safer market, women feel more confident in coming to the fore. This is especially visible in the US at this time, and has resulted in more women in executive positions in emerging cannabis businesses than in all other businesses put together. The roots of this are also visible in Europe, where women like Mila Jansen broke the ground for the coffeeshop culture that has defined Amsterdam and the Netherlands.
The exhibition We Are Mary Jane: Women of Cannabis explores the achievements of both the women who are active in the cannabis industry today, and the 4000 year history (or herstory) of women’s experiences of cannabis.
In this video interview, Simone talks about her motivation and inspiration for creating the exhibition, her background in gender studies, and her personal experience of being a woman working in the cannabis industry.
The multi-faceted power of women who consume cannabis
The video also features an interview with Maria Cavali, the photographer behind the gorgeous portraits of smoking women in coffeeshops that are featured in We Are Mary Jane: Women of Cannabis.
Unlike Simone Badoux, Maria Cavali does not identify as a feminist, yet her views on the potential of women empowering women are partly informed by her recently becoming a mother and the difficulties of balancing parenthood, work, and family life. Her portraits succeed in capturing the strength, mystery, and rich, multi-faceted power of women who consume cannabis.
There is something to be gained from this exhibition for everyone who visits. Whether it is new insight into, or positive affirmation of, the way women have shaped the cannabis industry throughout its history, ‘We Are Mary Jane: Women of Cannabis’ will encourage you to celebrate your feminine side.
Coming soon – interviews with more Women of Cannabis, including Hash Queen Mila Jansen. Watch this space!