Vanessa Ly immigrated in 1982 from Lima, Peru to Boston, Massachusetts at the age of four. From a young age, issues of women of color have been of particular interest to her. In 2015, Vanessa co-founded Sisters Unchained, a community organization which empowers young women of color whose lives have been affected by incarceration. The program, funded through private donors and public grants, is now in its fourth year and has quadrupled in the number of participants. Sisters Unchained is currently launching a “big sister” mentoring program for young girls with parents in prison. Vanessa is also a self-taught documentary filmmaker. Her first film, a visual poem called “Inferno,” was inspired from a poem written by a man currently serving time in upstate New York. In April 2017, she was invited to present her visual poem at the We Create festival showcasing female artists, in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Her second film, “Eternally Misunderstood,” shares the stories of nine children of incarceration. The film has screened at The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston College, Harvard University, and Dartmouth College. In 2018, Vanessa founded Obsydian Productions, a production company that engages in documentary films focused on issues of social justice with women behind the lens. In every creative endeavor, Vanessa aims to embody the language closest to her heart: storytelling, which she sees as medium of self-healing and empowerment.
Profile Type: Artist