Since 2018 The Pantheon of Women Who Inspire continue to Celebrate the story of the Human Spirit
Since 2018 The Pantheon of Women Who Inspire continue to Celebrate the story of the Human Spirit
Sema Jonsson, cosmopolitan of Greek origin, was born in Izmir, Turkey. She grew up in a female-dominated household.
Her upbringing spanned Norway, Turkey, and the USA. Living in 10 other countries she became fluent in seven languages and eventually settled in France in 1993.
Influenced by her artist mother who held a shadow puppet theatre, she, studied commercial art and holds a certificate in "healing with the arts & a certificate in Global Diplomacy" Her deep exploration of neurosciences and physiology complements her role as a coach/therapist, focusing on trauma and self-love.
She held many varied positions within Event planning and Tourism in different countries, to becoming the first foreign female Appraiser in real estate in France during the upbringing of her two sons.
She now has returned to her artistic roots becoming a renowned painter and sculptor in south of France. Now, residing in Cannes, her art has taken on another view & goes beyond the arts conveying messages of compassion, hope, and peace through the arts and storytelling.
Sema is committed to making the world kinder and more inclusive. Through her art and advocacy, she aspires to create a brighter future, fostering diversity, self-love, hope and compassion.
She is also since 2021an advocate with UN/WHO championing to eliminate hazardious skin-lightening products that contain mercury.
"The Pantheon of 400 Women Who Inspire" bears witness to the transformative power of art, inspiration, and the unshakable human spirit's resilience.
The Pantheon of Women was born during a personal hardship in 2018 when I sought inspiration, I immersed myself in stories of remarkable women and found solace and purpose in their journeys.
Painting their portraits became a healing process that inspired hope and resilience.
An irresistible urge to paint overtook me, and I began painting one portrait a day in my living room. I became "her" during the painting process, truly feeling her presence, channeling them in some sort. It became an obsession, and I could not stop.
Their stories brought forth forgotten wounds and aided in my healing. They further inspired me to take classes in art therapy and psychology to understand what was going on. Truly, these women not only shaped my art but also transformed my existence.
Soon, my journey inspired those around me, and with 100 portraits completed a friend Ron Banks from Webster University saw the project's potential and opened many doors, the present project took form.
A chance meeting with Dr. Clementina Acedo, the first female Director of Webster University-Geneva, led to an invitation to exhibit at their 40th anniversary. This sparked the idea for "The Pantheon of Women Who Inspire," an empowering art installation dedicated to spread hope through self-discovery.
The inaugural exhibition in 2018 marked a significant milestone, showcasing the first 100 portraits at the Webster University Geneva 40th Anniversary event which was curated by Dr. Julianna Bark, was a humbling and privileged experience.
Amidst my creative fervor and the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, 230 portraits later fate had another lesson for me. I suffered a stroke that left me motionless and voiceless, forcing me to relearn everything, much like a child learning to walk. In that despair, I questioned if I had shared enough love with the world. From that darkness emerged a silent promise: if I survived, I would dedicate my life to helping others discover the key to self-love, the remedy for many personal hardships.
"We must rise above others' limitations, conditioning and embrace the freedom that self-love offers". Sema Jonsson
Art with a Purpose
ART AND STORIES COMBINED IS A HIGHWAY TO GENDER EQUALITY AND SELF-EMPOWERMENT & SELF-LOVE.
Art has always been used in telling stories & as a catalyst for change
In 1859 Florence Nightingale wrote, “Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by colour, and light, we do know this, that they have an actual physical effect. Variety of form and brilliancy of color in the objects presented to patients are actual means of recovery.”
Art is one of the oldest forms of communication & self-expression. Historically, artwork has been referred to as “medicine”. Sometimes words are not enough to heal or process trauma, emotions, feelings. Memories that are stored in the body & brain. Creative expression connects with the subconscious mind and a shift of mind can trigger instant change at a deep level. (Healing starts with self-love & acceptance)
In a receptive state, an image, a story or a single word in a story may trigger a mini-Satori (the zen term for enlightenment and
sometimes we may identify with a character of a story and experience a sense of accomplishment. The character’s voice will go with us wherever we are. (Dr.Milton Ericson)
This exhibition explores the power of art and storytelling combined to foster tolerance, compassion, and understanding and celebrates the highest potential of our species, is a transformative journey of self-empowerment through art, human achievements, and history.
It invites the audience to embark on a voyage through a world filled with talent, purpose, passion, causes, and unwavering determination, uses art and stories to empower and educate its audience while offering maximum visibility to women from all nations who are dedicating their lives to change the world to a better place
This traveling exhibition, not intended for sale, visits prestigious universities and noteworthy events worldwide. Its purpose is to inspire dialogue, self-empowerment, hope, peace, and compassion.
UN’s 2030 target to Empower women & Gender equality.
Radical uncertainties & changes are on the horizon, Racism, bullying, populism, sexism, hate and misogyny is on the rise
We’re in an era of tremendous change due to new technology & end of globalisation. The decisions we make in the next few decades will shape the future of life itself.
Creativity, ideas & hope is crucial. Seeing what others have done is inspirational and offers self-reflection.
There is a major women’s movement in all sectors all over the world. Eu’s-40% target, Empowering women can yield to +30% GDP growth by 2030
At The Pantheon of Women Who Inspire®, our mission is to harness the power of storytelling and the arts to inspire and empower young people, fostering compassion, tolerance and diversity through cultural understanding. We firmly believe that education, compassion, and understanding are essential in combating hate and prejudice.
Through our transformative journey, we invite individuals to embark on a path of self-discovery and self-empowerment. By delving into art, human achievements, and history, we aim to explore and celebrate the remarkable stories of women who have made a significant impact on the world.
We aspire to ignite positive change and nurture empathy by sharing these stories of public personalities. Our mission is to cultivate a more inclusive and harmonious society where the power of the human spirit and divercity is celebrated and embraced
Our Vision: Reduce gender bias and discrimination by creating dialogue around the first and largest art collection of inspiring women from around the world
“An artists vocation is to spread light into the human heart, to expose the audience to him/her self. Perhaps the seeds of compassion, creativity, dreams and love will grow into the hearts of the young, so that the world may be filled with such dignified women and men who contribute to better the world.” – Sema Jonsson
Art promotes divergent thinking leading to creativity, social interactions, elicits emotional responses, facilitates personal connections, enhances the lives of people, and fosters learning.
For decades, humanities and arts classes have been offered to medical students, in attempts to help them maintain empathy and develop skills necessary to accurately diagnose their future patients. Known as “narrative medicine” courses they’ve covered topics from comic book–making to modern dance to Impressionist painting.
Now, new research shows that just by looking at artworks can help future doctors honetheir observation skills, maintain objectivity, cope with moments of uncertainty and bringabout emphaty.
When we’re seeing something, it’s never neutral, it’s also filled with what we saw previously, our associations of our inner world can come to the surface just by looking at art, thus heal.
Q: How are the women selected for inclusion in "The Pantheon of Women Who Inspire"?
A: The selection process involves careful consideration and research. The women chosen embody the qualities of resilience, determination, and inspiration. They have made significant contributions to their fields and have had a positive impact on society.
Q: Are there any specific fields or industries that are prioritized in the selection process?
A: The selection process aims to showcase a diverse range of fields and industries to highlight the breadth of female achievements. Efforts are made to include women from science, arts, activism, business, sports, education, and other sectors that have made significant contributions.
Q: What criteria are used to evaluate potential candidates for inclusion?
A: The criteria include factors such as the woman's achievements, influence, innovation, leadership, and the lasting legacy of her work. Diversity in terms of nationality, ethnicity, field, and historical context is also considered to showcase a broad spectrum of inspiring stories.
Q: How often is the pantheon updated with new additions?
A: "The Pantheon of Women Who Inspire" is a dynamic and evolving exhibition. New additions are made periodically to ensure the inclusion of contemporary trailblazers and emerging voices that inspire and empower.
Q: How do you ensure the inclusion of women from diverse backgrounds?
A: It is essential to ensure a diverse representation of women in "The Pantheon of Women Who Inspire." Efforts are made to include women from various cultural, geographical, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds to reflect the global diversity of female achievements.
Q: Can the public suggest women to be considered for inclusion in the pantheon?
A: Yes, public input is highly valued and encouraged. Suggestions for women who have made significant contributions and embody the spirit of inspiration can be submitted through the website or other designated channels.
Q: How do you strike a balance between well-known figures and unsung heroes?
A: "The Pantheon of Women Who Inspire" seeks to recognize both well-known figures and unsung heroes. While prominent figures may be included for their widespread impact, efforts are made to unearth and share stories of women whose contributions may have been overlooked or underestimated.
“Education, compassion, and understanding are the only ways to change hate. Inspirational stories via the arts are empowering and an idea can transform lives!” – Sema C Jonsson
•Millenials and Gen Z are increasingly pessimistic about their lives (A Survey done) - Bloomberg
The search for an identity - “Who am I ?” - will be a more urgent & complicated question than ever before. (-MIT)
•Humans become generous & tolerant when they feel safe & secure. With massive job losses expected due to AI & Robotics, people feel unsure about their futures.
•More and more, we see misogyny as the gateway drug for extremists – HB The poverty law center
•Millions of new jobs must be created. Investing in Women is beneficial to society, in all countries. Investing in women yields high returns.
•Women face obstacles at all levels. UN
•Out of 195 heads of state, only 24 are women.
•1 out of 5 people live below the poverty line; 70% of them are women.
•2/3 of the 750 million illiterate adults worldwide are women. –UNESCO
•59 countries have no law prohibiting sexual harassment or abuse in the workplace. -UN
•300% more time is spent on unpaid care work by women than men. -OECD
•190 million fewer women than men have a bank account –World Bank
•Women of color still grapple with lower pay & higher unemployment rates. –MarketWatch
We’re in an era of tremendous change due to new technology; millions of jobs will disappear.
The decisions we make in the next few decades will shape the future of life itself.
Accelerated change is a certainty & we’re ill-equipped to handle it.
Radical uncertainties & changes are on the horizon.
New ideas & new products will replace what we know today.
We have to constantly re-invent ourselves. Stories of people can help to evoke new ideas & by offering hope and understanding.
The danger of technology being used to manipulate and control human beings is real.
Sensory information is bombarding us all the time while we have no clue what it does to us.
These reasons illustrate how the arts can play a significant role in supporting mental health and well-being.
By incorporating storytelling into mental health support and awareness initiatives, we can promote understanding, empathy, and healing in individuals and communities.