BMW is announcing a new exhibition today, celebrating inspirational stories of women from around the world. “200 Women Who Will Change the Way You See the World” is a free photo exhibition designed to provoke thought on diversity and equality through the stories of 200 women from around the world. The event will also include a new book and storytelling exhibition celebrating a diverse group of inspirational women.

Opening at Pen + Brush gallery in New York City on May 15 and supported by the BMW Group, 200 Women Who will change the way you see the world is based on the storytelling project and book of the same name by creators Geoff Blackwell and Ruth Hobday and published by Chronicle Books, 200 Women Who Will Change the Way You See the World. The book was inspired by the simple idea of persuading 200 women – regardless of nationality, race, religion, status or celebrity – to answer a series of five questions describing what is most important to them in life, and allowing themselves to be photographed and filmed in front of a plain sheet of fabric by photographer Kieran E. Scott.

The book features all 200 original interviews and accompanying photographs. Among the women honored are the recently passed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was a remarkable freedom fighter on the front line of the struggle for the people in South Africa, bestselling authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Margaret Atwood, actor and activist Gillian Anderson, supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, classic violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and conservationist Jane Goodall, alongside other activists, artists, astronauts, entrepreneurs and a brave Nepalese woman who has spent most of her life living on the streets of Kathmandu selling cigarettes – one at a time – to support her family.

Geoff Blackwell, co-author of 200 Women Who Will Change the See the World said, “Our intention wasn’t to simply focus on successful and powerful women, but to highlight the diversity and authenticity of real women with real stories, and bring out the humanity of each individual’s experiences.” Co-author Ruth Hobday said “Our goal for 200 Women was diversity, and above all, authenticity, and the responses of all of the women we interviewed simultaneously educated, humbled and inspired us. Over and over they were uplifting examples of kindness, selflessness, strength, wisdom, inspiration and the most compellingly of all, truth.”

The US showing will take place between May 15 and June 30 in New York at Pen + Brush Gallery on 29 East 22nd Street. For those in Germany, the showing will be open in Munich between October 27 – November 21 at Alte Bayerische Staatsbank, Kardinal-Faulhaber Straße 1. The Technical University of Munich will also be hosting the exhibition between November 28 – December 14 on Arcisstraße 21.