Galactic Girlhood: NFTs, Universes, and Digital Dreams

Esha Aphale | March 13, 2024 | Life

NFTs, short for Non-Fungible Tokens, are distinctive digital assets securely stored on a blockchain, a decentralised digital ledger. Despite the groundbreaking potential of NFTs and Web3, they predominantly exist within male-dominated spaces, often compared to exclusive gentleman’s clubs where women and non-conformative individuals are marginalised. However, the Web3 community World of Women is challenging this status quo. With a mission to empower and encourage women and womxn to enter the digital realm, World of Women is creating a one-of-one community that breaks barriers and fosters inclusivity.

Created and released in 2021 by Yam Karkai, WoW began with an initial collection of 10,000 unique art pieces. Reflecting Karkai’s vibrant and larger-than-life art style, the collection has evolved into a community that celebrates the essence of women; portraying them as multifaceted beings, embodying everything, everywhere, all at once. These NFTs were created through a unique sequence of 11 traits selected from 189 possibilities, resulting in infinite combinations and ensuring that each piece is unique.

When Yam decided to venture into the world of Web3, she merged her passion for depicting women with the prevailing trend of launching PFP (Profile Picture) collections. Similar to the popular “10,000 Apes” concept, Karkai envisioned creating a collection of 10,000 unique women. Her artwork is filled with Easter eggs and hidden details, ensuring there is something for everyone to discover. Marketplaces often allow users to apply filters to find a piece that resonates with them. Some individuals choose artwork that resembles themselves or their partners, while others opt for something more aspirational, for example, the appearance lens. Each piece tells a unique story, inviting viewers to find their connection and meaning within the collection.

The Assembly of Women in the WoW Galaxy

With a foundation that is seeped in art, this platform showcases the creative talents of women artists and provides a supportive space for women to thrive in the NFT space, reshaping the narrative and dynamics of the digital art world. Extending on their philosophy of comprehensive globalisaton, the WoW community is soon launching a platform akin to social media platforms, for their members to stay connected. Seen, and described, as a digital directory, Patio is currently accessible to all via Guest profiles, but for WoW members in its complete functionalitie

“Allies are welcome, but our focus is on celebrating women,” says Kashvi Parekh, community leader at WoW, extending on the ethos of the community and its founding principles. “We want to ensure that women are not overlooked in the evolving narrative of crypto, which represents a significant cultural shift. It is essential to prevent women from being left behind, as has often happened in other areas of growth.”

World of Women originated intending to create a space that addresses the multifaceted challenges women face, both in the domestic sphere and in professional fields like art and technology. While their primary goal is to empower women who are involved in the NFT and Web3 space by providing a supportive environment, they are equally committed to highlighting and promoting female artists.

With representation at the core of their mission, this Web3 space aims to combat every stereotype and form of discrimination that women encounter. “We believe that our community, comprising diverse individuals fighting different challenges, provides a platform for meaningful conversations and actions,” Parekh says, highlighting that a member of their community is not just minting an NFT; they are minting a sense of community and belonging.

(L-R) WoW NFT Ambassador inspired by Bioluminescence at the Paris Gala; Sneak into WoW Gala

Trading and investing form the crux of every NFT community, what sets apart WoW is its focus on connections beyond financial transactions. For the WoW community, inclusivity and representation turn into basic functions that form the basis of an environment where everyone has a seat at the metaphorical table, and women are not left behind in cultural shifts. The community is founded on the pillars of art and culture, unifying individuals from diverse backgrounds. With a deliberate technology integration, the community remains far from exclusive, providing unrestricted access to current and prospective members.

The Artfest by the WoW community is their unique manner of celebrating and showcasing the work of various creatives in the community while maintaining the basis of mining an NFT. Apart from the commissioned pieces for the Artfest, the community extends opportunities for artists, especially women, through partnerships. Recently, the WoW community collaborated with FC Barcelona Femini, the female counterpart of the FCB, on an NFT, created by a WoW holder, called “Masterpiece #2 – Empowerment” featuring Alexia Putellas, the club’s captain. This unique partnership, and others like it, exemplify their commitment to supporting and uplifting artists within the WoW ecosystem. During the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, WoW partnered with MasterCard for a unique collaboration. As part of the partnership, an artist from the WoW community created live artwork, which was showcased on a screen during an active panel discussion. The timing was synchronised so that the completion of the artwork coincided with the end of the panel discussion. As a result, audience members were given this minted NFT, marking a memorable and innovative moment at the festival.

At its core, WoW recognises that the inherent meaning of being a woman is to create—to create art, to create change, and to create a world that is more diverse. By focusing on womxnhood, WoW is pushing boundaries in the tech space, challenging stereotypes and paving the way for a more inclusive future. By highlighting the work of female artists, WoW is challenging the status quo by reshaping the narrative of the digital art world. In a world where women are often marginalised, WoW stands out as a beacon of empowerment and creativity.

Words by Esha Aphale.
Featured image Woman Between the Stars by Chirila Corina.
Image courtesy World of Women (WoW).

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