All in One

Iintersectional subjectivity
IIcritique of equality
IIIPut a bra on that girl!
IVWhat happened to Sara won’t happen again.
VI dream
VIcollective or individual gender fronts
VIIPolish Women on Strike
VIII VIII healing and community-building
IXNo Es País Para Negras
Xwomen who can no longer speak
XIthe presence of borders
XIIOur Future Starts Now
XIII(Emerging) Hidden Figures
XIVIthaca Boxing Gym
XVwriting and knitting
XVIembodied discomfort
XVIIeyes focused on the broken pieces
XVIIIStep in Inequality
XIX(re)reading
XXdiscontinuous poem
XXImaterialities of blood and data flows
XXIIThe Cartesian Subject of Boxing
XXIIISister, I Believe You
XXIVFrom Head to Foot
XXVwhen existence is not acknowledged
XXVI2011-present
XXVIIKontrapunkt
XXVIIIradical politics of solidarity
XXIXdiffraction and reflection
XXXbetween power and resistance
XXXIreproductive machines
XXXIIpH Gender Scale
XXXIIIthree acts: arrival, confrontation, and parting
XXXIVWho Decides?
XXXVAtlas of Transitions
XXXVIauto-ethnography
XXXVIIcelebrations of LGBT50
XXXVIIImoments of equality
XXXIXher transnational projects

necklace with a pendant. The necklace and pendant are black metal. The pendant is bordered by a lattice in black metal and it contains a thumb-sized portrait picture with a domed plastic covering.

I

Sisterhood

Contributed by Athena-Maria Enderstein, 2016

Keywords: Audre Lorde, Portrait, Feminism, Voice

A necklace with a picture of Audre Lorde, the ‘black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,’ was given to me by two of my best friends who knew that I treasure her words. It is a symbol of our sisterhood, not based on shared histories or positionalities, but on the strength of our connection.

This necklace informs the way that I see equality work and knowledge production, characterized as it is by plurality and intimately bound up with borders, boundaries, and power. Lorde’s strength and ownership of her intersectional subjectivity is a reminder to us all.

A single cigarette.

II

Cigarette

Contributed by Zerrin Cengiz, 2016

Keywords: Women, Men, People of Higher Socio-Economic Status

It is related to the critique of equality within the context of Turkey where it has long been considered inappropriate for women to smoke in the presence of their elder family members. On the other hand, for women of higher socio-economic status, smoking had been a sign of modernity and freedom.

An image of a painted mural depicting an Afro-Puerto Rican woman hiding her eyes behind her arms, with butterflies covering her body. She is wearing white underwear, which was later added in an act of vandalism.

III

Paz Para la Mujer

Contributed by Wilmarie Rosado Pérez, 2016

Courtesy of Moriviví Colectivo

Keywords: Puerto Rican feminists, Vandalism, Mural, Moriviví Colectivo, Street Art

The Moriviví mural at Avenida Fernandez Juncos in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was vandalized with white paint. The vandals painted white underwear onto the image.

The original image of the mural depicted a naked Afro-Puerto Rican woman painted by the Moriviví Colectivo group in collaboration with Paz Para la Mujer [Peace for Women] a non-governmental women’s rights organization. The image presents a woman hiding her eyes behind her arms, with butterflies covering her body. The idea behind the creation of the mural was to spread a message to end violence against women, but someone decided to put some white undergarment onto the painting. In a city full of images of women sexually objectified, the depiction of a naked woman raising awareness against violence, was too transgressive for some passersby. In an interview with a local newspaper, one of the artists narrated that during the process of painting the mural, one person screamed at them: ‘¡Pónganle un brassiere a esa muchacha!’ [‘Put a bra on that girl!’].

An image of red graffiti on a street-side, gray concrete wall. The graffiti reads ‘Il femminicida non è malato, è un figlio sano del patriarcato’ [‘the femicidal murderer is not mentally ill, he is a healthy son of patriarchy’].

IV

Protesting Femicide in Rome, Italy

Contributed by Tommaso Trillò, 2016

Keywords: Graffiti, Rome, Italy

This graffiti appeared in Rome, Italy, following the femicide of 22-year-old Sara Di Pietrantonio by her ex-boyfriend on 29 May 2016. Despite public attention and specific legislation to target femminicidio, the murder of women by former partners has been on the rise in Italy; a worrying development that is regularly countered by the Non una di Meno feminist network. The femicide of Sara in Rome triggered a major public uproar. A relatively large march was organized in the area surrounding the site of the murder, where this graffiti appeared. The protest also migrated to social media, where it eventually consolidated in the hashtag-slogan #saranonsarà (roughly translating to ‘What happened to Sara won’t happen again.’)

Part of my research on the social media follows the work on Non una di Meno, the network that most probably orchestrated the demonstration during which the graffiti were painted.

White paper folded into a paper ship. It reads “I dream about” at the back and “When I was a child I wanted to” on the front with black ink, both phrases typed upside down.]

V

When I Was a Child I Wanted to

Contributed by Tegiye Birey, 2017

Keywords: Theatre, Performance, Community, Dreams, Paper ship

This paper ship was made at the interactive theater performance Dreamlands by the Malmö Community Theatre. The audience was asked to fill out a form about dreams they had as children, and fold it in the shape of a ship. Dreams are not left behind when people migrate it seemed, but rather, dreams become the motor of the ship, the life vests of the ones on it.

Then there was the question and answer session. Someone asked an Afghani performer, ‘Why are you wearing a dress?’ adding that some of the male performers looked uncomfortable wearing this costume. Was it her own frustration, as what she saw did not fit into her imaginary of what non-Western men can do and be?

This is a paper ship folded from white paper. It reads ‘I dream about’ at the back and ‘When I was a child I wanted to’ on the front with black ink, both phrases typed upside down.

Download folding manual

A pair of pink boxing gloves.

VI

Pink Boxing Gloves

Contributed by Zuzanna Szutenberg, 2016

Keywords: Boxing gloves, Sports, Women

Cultural norms suggest that violence and aggression is strictly against [the] ‘female nature.’ Sports, which require a significant deal of toughness, physical strength, and readiness to take pain, are – although nowadays open for women – considered as unfeminine. Female boxing is for many the most unacceptable sport for women, because it violates norms of femininity. Women fighting against each other are either pathologized or ridiculed – as the term ‘chick fight’ shows.

However, in my research on European gender equality policies and their visual representation and the popular discourse around them, I’ve often found the struggle of women for equality expressed through the metaphor of battle or fight against patriarchal oppression. Still today, every day, women fight on their collective or individual gender fronts. I bought these gloves for myself and I believe that every little girl should be given a pair.

A3 poster displaying the logo of the Polish Women's strike: the silhouette of a woman’s head. The silhouette is looking rightwards and is white on black background. Inside the silhouette, the words “Polish women on strike” in black font. On top of the silhouette, the date "03/10" in white font. Below the silhouette, the words “We are not going to work / warning strike” in white font, all capitals.

VII

“Polish Women on Strike” poster

Created by Ola Jasionowska, 2016

Contributed by Tommaso Trillò, 2016

Keywords: Abortion, Legislation, Poland, Women’s rights, A3 poster

In the end of late 2016, the Polish parliament attempted to pass legislation to make abortion de facto illegal in all cases in the country. Polish women and men mobilized and staged a large-scale protest in the streets of Warsaw in early October and managed to pressure the government to discard the law proposal. The poster invites potential adherents to join the rally.

In the past three years, feminist organising in Europe has succeeded in mobilizing people to fight for reproductive rights (abortion, healthcare, and education) and affected positive changes. Another example is Ireland, where the government agreed to hold a referendum in 2018, which resulted in a reform of the country’s near-total ban on abortion.

Although my research is not strictly on the topic, the fact that I was residing in Poland at the time of the event in Warsaw, enabled me to participate in the rally.

 Twenty-four cotton T-shirts in different colors with handmade messages in English and Spanish about gender violence. For example, one has the phrase “Healing is not a linear process” written on it, below six feathers. Another one is torn, simulating an eye, and has phrases about rape connected with arrows (“Shhh; you are a woman now; boys will be boys, can’t you just get over it?; Don’t tell”). Another one has a pink hand pasted on, with the thumb cut and bleeding. Inside the hand, the message written is “I am not an object, I feel”.

VIII

The Global Clothesline Project: Challenging Global Gender Violences

Contributed by Orianna Calderòn, 2016

Granada GEMMA Clothesline. Produced after a workshop with students from the GEMMA programme (Erasmus Mundus Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies) at the University of Granada Women’s Studies Center in 2016. Organised by Susan Rose, Adelina Sánchez Espinosa and Orianna Calderón Sandoval.

Keywords: Global Clothesline

During this workshop participants were invited to create T-shirts expressing their experiences with gender violence and healing, which were then publicly displayed on a clothesline. “The Global Clothesline Project” began in 1993, directed by the Susan Rose (Women’s Center at Dickinson College). It is a visual display that bears witness to gender violence and provides opportunities for healing and community-building. It relates to the construction of cultures of gender equality because it’s a collective activity where gender violence is discussed, rejected, and politicized.

A poster of Silvia Albert Sopale’s play No Es País Para Negras designed for a performance that took place in Oviedo on December 2016. On the right of the poster is a black paintbrush with a face on it. On the left, is the title No Es Pais Para Negras (No Country for Black Women), and information about the date, time, and place of the performance.

IX

“No Es País Para Negras” poster

Created by Goyo Rodríguez

Contributed by Paola Prieto López, 2016

Keywords: Play, Poster

This is a poster of the play No Es Pais Para Negras [No Country for Black Women] by Silvia Albert Sopale, that was performed in Oviedo, Spain, in 2016.

It is one of the first plays written and staged by a black woman in Spain. Born in San Sebastián from Nigerian and Ecuatorial Guinean descent, Sopale gives voice to the Afro-Spaniard community in her play. She is determined to open a space for black women artists in Spain and to make black female authorship visible.

Orange plastic shell that would contain the surprise in a Kinder chocolate egg. The shell is filled rice or corn so that it makes noise when shaken.

X

Uovo s’ode from Hula Hoop Cultural Center

Contributed by Tommaso Trillò, 2016

Keywords: Surprise egg, VAW

These objects were distributed during the first Non una di Meno rally in Rome on 26 November 2016.

Uovo s’ode is the name of an ingenious campaign promoted by the Hula Hoop Cultural Center in Rome, Italy, on occasion of the Non una di Meno rally to protest male perpetrated violence against women. The campaign exploits the word play created by the similar sound of uovo s’ode [an egg you can hear] and uova sode [boiled eggs]. The object is the inner plastic shell of a Kinder egg filled with corn seeds, and was used to make noise. It stands for the voices of the women who can no longer speak, and accompanies chants at the rally. Every original egg had the name of a victim of femicide and the date of her murder.

I gathered the object while attending the rally for my fieldwork.

Download how to manual

The object is a photo of a passerby looking at a mural by the artist Belén Deniz in the stairs of Campillín Park in Oviedo, Spain. There is a handrail that separates the part of the stairs where the mural is and where the woman is. The mural was part of the “Urban Art Contest: A World on the Move. Women and Refuge” in Oviedo and portrays the face of a Muslim woman wearing the veil. In the background we can see some buildings that are part of the city.

XI

A World on the Move, Women and Refuge

Created by Belén Deniz, 2017

Name of collector: Paola Prieto López, 2017

Keywords: Mural, Public Space, Migration, Oviedo

The mural was part of the urban art contest ‘A World on the Move. Women and Refuge,’ which sought to make visibile the reality of migrants and refugees in the city of Oviedo, Spain.

The mural shows an encounter between a white woman and the painting of the Muslim woman as if both were in a conversation with each other. They seem to be acknowledging a shared space in the city, but the handrail reminds us of the presence of borders between them.

A3 poster on heavy paper. Red-and-blue writing on yellow background.
Front page: writing stylized to look like paint brushed on a wall. The poster reads “Our future starts now!” in block caps, red font. The sentence is complemented with light-blue campaign logos for each of the objectives of EWL’s campaign. Underneath the slogan, the EWL twenty-fifth anniversary logo, web address, and campaign hashtag (#ourfuture) are displayed in smaller light-blue font. On the left, the poster reads “Women’s rights are human rights” in small font, vertically disposed, block caps.

XII

“Our Future Starts Now” by European Women’s Lobby

Poster by Take Shape Studio

Contributed by Tommaso Trillò, 2017

Keywords: Poster, Women’s rights, Europe

The poster was issued by the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) for the purpose of dissemination after approving a list of strategic priorities for the time span 2016–20. On one side is the slogan ‘Our Future Starts Now’ while on the other sides it has a list of five key priorities: (1) ensure institutional mechanisms for women’s human rights, (2) end violence against women, (3) promote a feminist economic model based on equality, well­being, care, and social justice, (4) challenge and change the culture of sexism and stereotypes, and (5) position women at the heart of decision-making.

The European Women’s Lobby is one of the most powerful pro-equality lobby organizations at the European level. They have been advocating for women’s rights and gender equality with a focus on Europe since 1987. I was given this poster together with other promotional material when I visited the EWL headquarters for a research interview in March 2017.

Download complete poster

XIII

The Matryoshkas: (Emerging) Hidden Figures

Contributed by Eleanor Drage, 2017

Keywords: Matryoshka dolls, Watercolour

These dolls reflect the extensive genealogy of women writers of science fiction who have hidden their identities behind pseudonyms, including Alice Sheldon (James Tiptree Jr.) and Katharine Burdekin (Murray Constantine), or who have collaborated with their sons or (male) partners to be published, like Catherine Lucille Moore, María Guera, and Leigh Eddings.

The opening chapter of my PhD thesis traces a genealogy of women’s science fiction from 1666 to the present day. Some of these writers and their texts, particularly Spanish and Italian women writers, are difficult to track down because they did not publish under their birth names. This piece pays homage to these hidden figures, and to the difficulties they faced in asserting themselves within the science fiction community. This piece celebrates their work and legacy for women writers today, and says ‘we see you’.

Worn under boxing gloves, hand wraps are used to protect the wrists and hands of the fighter during trainings and competitions of boxing and other combat sports. Every boxer has a different style for wrapping their hands but it always involves the wrist, the knuckles, the thumb, and between the fingers. They are made of elastic cotton. At one end of the band there is a thumb strap to provide a good fit to the hand, and at the other there is a Velcro closure to fasten the wrist. The handwraps on display are rolled, pink, and each of them is 2’’ x 180’’ size.

XIV

My Gendered Boxing Wraps

Contributed by Alejandra Benítez Silva, 2017

Keywords: Boxing wraps

“An old white man who is in the training suggests I get some hand wraps to avoid injuries. At the end of the session I buy them from the gym’s administrator, who gives me a pair of pink hand wraps. ‘Has he chosen this color because I look like a woman? Is it me stereotyping a color, or is it him stereotyping me? Is it both? Should I give them back? Objects are gendered and gender us,’ I reflect while receiving my new wraps.” (Field diary, first conditioning session, Ithaca Boxing Gym, 19 April 2017).

The ethnographic context of my research project was a boxing academy in Yorkshire, UK. In order to collect primary data and to grasp the gendered culture of the sport, I became a boxing apprentice. Between April 2017 and April 2018, I spent 150 hours in the gym. During this time, every situation or interaction was subject of gendered analysis which was reported in my field diary.

A blanket made from damson merino jumbo yarn.

XV

Merino Jumbo Yarn

Created by Barbara Grabher

Contributed by Wilmarie Rosado Pérez, 2019

Keywords: Crafty activism, The needle or the pen, Feminist paradoxes, Merino Jumbo Yarn

The object is a blanket that fellow GRACE researcher Barbara Grabher fabricated from merino jumbo yarn. The yarn has been transformed into a blanket through the technique of arm knitting. The technique in combination with the thick yarn visualizes each knot individually: due to the continuous repetition of knots, a soft but consistent surface is created.

In Europe, since the Renaissance, and later during the Romantic and the Victorian period, the literary trope “needle or pen” has been present in discussions concerning women’s authorship. Women were told to use the needle instead of the pen. The needle was conceived as a symbol of women’s domestication, the ‘female pen.’ This instrument was the antithesis of the phallic pen used by writers. In response to social constraints against women’s freedom, some women writers rejected needlework and knitting since they were considered confining labour. However, women’s literary and feminist activism made connections between knitting and writing, a strategy that brought the art of creating literature closer to a domestic endeavour in order to change the gendered dynamics that prevented women from writing. The metaphor of textual work as textile work gave them the perfect excuse to write as they knitted.

Download knitting manual

A one-page text, organized in six paragraphs and an opening quote. Black letters on a white background.

XVI

I Don’t See Well

Contributed by Orianna Calderón, 2016

Keywords: Sight, Text, Embodied discomfort

I wrote this short text in 2016 as part of the workshop conducted by Suzanne Clisby, ‘Researching Lives through Gender Analysis,’ at Hull GRACE Spring School. I connect it with the idea of ‘embodied discomfort’ because I organized it around the fact that I can’t see well without glasses.

Many times in my life I have felt uncomfortable in connection with seeing, not so much because of my lack of perfect sight, but due to the violence of the gaze. In my text, I combine this ‘not being able to see well’ with personal experiences traversed by gender mandates and reflections on feminist theory and the gaze.

XVII

Stirring Encounters

Contributed by Tegiye Birey, 2018

Keywords: Coffee stirrers, Interview, Anxiety

Ten minutes into the [field] interview, they started breaking the coffee-stirrers in pieces and piling them in different compositions on the table, keeping their eyes focused on the broken pieces. After a while, I found myself breaking the coffee-stirrers as well. We joked that we are repurposing the object to handle our shared discomfort.

Although interviews are a business-as-usual component of ethnographic research methods, touching upon my informants’ injuries, at times injuries that I share, was a challenging task. Given the life-altering interviews they had in conjunction with their experience of migration, I wonder if I can ever be equipped enough to conduct healing interviews.

The object is an image of an underground. On the right, we see a escalator painted in blue with the Mars symbol, while on the left we have a staircase painted in pink with the Venus symbol on it. There is a man using the escalator and a woman about to start going up the stairs. On the floor, right before the escalator and the stairs begin, we can read a sign that says “Step in Inequality. The road to the top is not the same for men and women.”

XVIII

“Step in Inequality” installation view

Created by Chandani Karnik and Kazunori Shiina, 2013

Contributed by Paola Prieto López, 2013

Keywords: Installation, Inequality, Staircase

The installation aims at visually representing how gender inequality can manifest, particularly in the business world, by asking people to take two different sets of stairs in order to show how ‘the road to the top is not the same for men and women.’

The video installation shows a grid of twenty-four different faces. Each face is shaded blue or pink in alternating rhythms due to the lights available in the filming location. The composition creates a vision of twenty-four blue and pink blinking faces. The faces change in an irregular pattern. Over seventy people of different ethnic, gender, and age backgrounds are represented in the film.

XIX

(Media)ted

Created by Lou Hazelwood and Barbara Grabher

Contributed by Barbara Grabher, 2018

Keywords: Social media, Hull2017, City of Culture

This work explores the process of mediation through a practice of recording and recycling, including the scripted (re)reading of collected and collated social media posts published by Hull2017 Ltd – the organization executing Hull UK City of Culture 2017. Residents were filmed as reflections of themselves, deliberately using gendered tonal lights, and grouped en masse as filmic backdrop.

(Media)ted is a collaboration between Hull-based artist Lou Hazelwood and researcher Barbara Grabher. The project artistically engages and expands with the academic interests explored in the project ‘Gendering Cities of Culture.’ The installation re-interprets the experiential exploration of the production of cultures of equality in the celebrations of Hull as UK City of Culture in 2017.

Full video can be found here.

The image shows a white sheet of paper with black letters on it. Not all the words are visible as some parts of the paper are covered with black blocks. It says: 
Period Tracking Protocol. Johanna. 33 years, Caucasian, cis-female, 0.06.2017, got my period today late or irregular and so stressed. 1. Clue: in time. 2. Mi Calendario: 2 days late I press the dog I feel more pain. 3. Period Tracker: 6 days late! 4. Eve: 1 day late select “edit period.” 18.07.2017: correctly. I realize that I am less and less interested in comfortable stress at work this also influences my cycle not as regular as it used to be. I already know 11.08.2017: schmierblutung it’s complicated. 14.08.2017: not working properly Eve. Must be connected to another cycle without internet.

XX

Period Tracking Protocol

Contributed by Johanna Levy, 2017

Keywords: Redacted auto-ethnography

Period Tracking Protocol is inspired by Jenny Holzer’s paintings where she uses declassified secret service documents and transforms them by adding black blocks.

The piece departs from one of the pages of my auto-ethnography and has been transformed with black blocks to depict the practice of self-censorship (not entering/sharing data) when engaging with digital tracking technologies. The black blocks change the original meaning of the text, creating a discontinuous poem.

The collage consist of two photographs: the one on the left depicts the thighs of a white person with blood running down on the insides. In the background there is a white wall. The right photograph shows an aisle in a server room with a door in the end. The floor of the aisle is covered with white ventilation grills, the server racks on both sides of the aisle are black.

XXI

Blood and Data Flows

Contributed by Johanna Levy, 2018

Keywords: Collage, Flows, Data

Blood and Data Flows juxtaposes two spaces which, apart from their visual organization, appear to be inherently different and unrelated at first sight: the intimate space of my thighs and an unknown server room. However, when taking a closer look, it becomes evident that they share crucial characteristics: both spaces are highly surveilled and often, the materialities of blood and data flows remain invisible.

The collage explores the entanglements between flows of menstrual blood and digital data, and aims to make visible their materialities. Through self-tracking technologies such as menstrual apps – the topic of my research project – users create vast amounts of digital data which are stored and processed in rooms like the one shown, thus establishing intimate interconnections between blood and data flows.

This is a boxing headguard, which, according to the International Boxing Association, is “equipment worn on the head in order to protect it during a competition.
Adjusted to the head with velcro straps, one of the straps is located on the chin and the others on the top of the head. It prevents cuts and bruises, and its goal is to reduce the impact of a punch on the head. Made by closed-cell foam, being flexible and soft, velcro and vinyl fabric, its weight varies according to its size, going from 205 grams to 290 grams. It is usually in red, blue, or black color, the one displayed here is black.

XXII

Sexist Concussions

Contributed by Alejandra Benítez Silva, 2018

Keywords: Boxing, Gender discourses, Sexism

Based on studies reporting that concussions are more likely to occur wearing headguards, in 2013 the International Boxing Association banned their use among elite male competitors. Arguing the lack of evidence on the effect of headguards on female boxers, as the studies only considered men in their samples, the Association still obliges female competitors to wear headguards.

The rule relating to gender-differentiated use of the headguards makes evident the existence of gender essentialist discourses in boxing used to legitimize a different treatment of women. This is problematic considering that as a consequence of the rule, female fighters may be at risk of concussion during the competitions. Based on the latter, through this rule boxing communicates at the symbolic level, that female bodies do not matter in the sport.

If boxing wants to be accessible to all and embrace equality, it must stop discriminating against women through sexist rules based on gender essentialism.

The object is a photo of graffiti in an unknown location. In the graffiti we can read “Sister, I believe you” with pink letters on a grey wall while a woman passes by.

XXIII

Sister, I Believe You

Contributed by Paola Prieto López, 2018

Keywords: Protest, Rape case, Spain

Five men were accused of raping an 18-year-old girl in Pamplona’s San Fermín bull-running festival in 2016. The case went viral after the Whatsapp messages of the group were shared on social media platforms. The judge of the case decided to accept as evidence a report from a private detective in which the girl’s social media posts where shared, intended to show that she was enjoying her holidays as evidence of her ‘not being traumatized’. The Whatsapp conversations, on the other hand, were considered ‘irrelevant’ for the case. Feminist groups all over Spain started the campaign, ‘Sister, I believe you’ to support the victim and criticize the judge’s handling of the case, which reflect how gender violence and sexual harassment victims are being treated in court and the media.

XXIV

A video-essay with fragments from “Dalla Testa ai Piedi”[From Head to Foot]

Created by Simone Cangelosi, 2007

Contributed by Orianna Calderón, 2018

Keywords: Video, Cangelosi

The video essay combines fragments from Simone Cangelosi’s opera prima, Dalla Testa ai Piedi [From Head to Foot] (2007), with an interview we had on October 2017 as part of my GRACE research project. In the interview we talk about how feminist and LGBT activism has informed his audiovisual work.

In his film, Cangelosi makes visible and reflects upon his transition process from female to male. By recording himself, he uses the filmic medium to put Simone into the world: To give him a body, a voice and a history. In so doing, he makes legible two gendered lives carried out by the same person, thus questioning the dominant gender visuality regime that categorizes and defines people as either women or men, depending on the sex they are assigned at birth.

Download video source

Screenshot of an online form about dietary preferences for an academic event. The categories include None, Vegetarian, Vegan, Kosher, Gluten-free and Other.

XXV

How Can You Talk About Equality When Your Existence Is Not Acknowledged?

Contributed by Zerrin Cengiz, 2018

Keywords: Screenshot, Dietary Preference, Inequality

How Islam is seen in Europe and specifically in the Netherlands.

I took a screenshot that shows an online form showing the dietary options for the participants at an academic event. The categories are as follows: None, vegetarian, vegan, kosher, gluten-free and anders (‘other’ in Dutch). Although the form has included a religious preference, it has not separately specified halal option in a country where almost one million Muslims live.

The object is related to my research on Islam in Europe where it is seen alien to the European imagination. The academic event organized in the Netherlands completely ignores the existence of Muslims through its dietary preferences section.

The drawing shows at its center the logo of the United Nations (map of the word encircled by a crown of laurels) and three human figures, one woman and two children. All the elements are in black and white colors. On the right side, two children are in the act of taking some laurels leaves from the logo. The children are giving their backs to the viewer. They are dressed in wretched clothes. On the left side, a woman, possibly the children mother, is sitting close to a big pot in the act of cooking some of the laurels leaves. The woman is also dressing in wretched clothes.

XXVI

Hisar Al-Ghouta [Al-Ghouta Siege]

Created by Hossam Al Saadi, 2016

Contributed by Sara Verderi, 2018

Keywords: Equality, Universal rights, Syria, Europe, Art, Non-violence

Hossam Al Saadi is an established cartoonist from Syrian origins, based in Brussels. In 2017, the artist published his autobiography for Traverse, Brussels. The autobiography is entitled Syrie-Belgique – du silence au dessin

Syrian poet Fadwa Soulimane maintains that “Syria is not a geography, it is an idea”. I interpret Al Saadi’s work in relation to critical ideas expressed in gender and decolonial theory toward the theories and practices of international humanitarian organizations such as the United Nations. Al Saadi and more broadly Syrian intellectuals, activist, artists establish a conversation with gender and decolonial theory in regard of the UN responses to the social movements and war in Syria. This drawing portrays the population of Al-Ghouta, a sub-urban area of Damascus that became famous for its sustaining of the 2011 civil uprising and for the repression of its inhabitant by the Syrian army. The Syrian army and government employed siege as a means to convince people to surrender to their rule. Al Saadi’s drawing exposes the UN inability to provide food, and protection, to the civilians of Al-Ghouta.

Will it be better to do this in reference to each page once we acquire the whole series?

XXVII

Kontrapunkt

Created by Amalia Alvarez, 2015-2018

Contributed by Tegiye Birey, 2018

Courtesy of the artist

Keywords: Solidarity, 2015, Kontrapunkt

This cartoon series portrays the mobilization of practical solidarities when migrants arrived in Malmö in 2015, through the pen of Amalia Alvarez who witnessed their unfolding. Kontrapunkt [Counterpoint] was one of the groups that organized these efforts, and also one of the organizations I worked with during my fieldwork.

Alvarez’s cartoon functions as firsthand, detailed and visual field notes from the time, during which migration-related solidarity efforts were heightened and then reshaped. She sheds light on structural fluctuations that has shaped the solidarity work as well as the dynamics of inter-group solidarities that has emerged since.

Picture of a protest banner. Black marker on pink background. Spelling the words ‘L’amore è un gesto politico’ [‘Love is a political gesture’].

XXVIII

Love is a Political Act

Contributed by Tommaso Trillò, 2016

Keywords: Protest banner, Non una di Meno

This picture, taken during the Non Una di Meno rally in Rome in November 2016, shows a protest banner carried by a participant. Non Una di Meno is an Italian feminist network, founded in June 2016. The biggest achievement of the movement was to bring 200,000 people to the streets of Rome for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to protest against patriarchal violence.

The protest banner reads ‘L’amore è un atto politico‘, literally translating to ’Love is a political act’.

Following Judith Butler, who states in Notes Towards a Performative Theory of Assembly that ‘the unchosen character of earthly cohabitation is […] the condition of our very existence as ethical and political beings’, I believe that real and enduring equality can only be achieved through a radical politics of solidarity among all beings; a way of doing politics that stems from the realization that we are ‘unchosen together’ and that our very existence depends on ‘unchosen others’. Considering the latter, the picture of this banner, which was taken during my fieldwork, is for me the best visual representation of this radical politics.

A DVD on which a piece of paper reads a quote by Judith Butler:We are all precarious and “our precarity is to a large extent dependent upon the organization of economic and social relationships, the presence or absence of sustaining infrastructures and political institutions”. In this regard, vulnerability is not inherent to a particular group, but unequally distributed as an effect of power relations under specific conditions. When this is not acknowledged, vulnerability can be used by political discourses as a way to produce and naturalise forms of social inequality. Conditions such as the poverty and illiteracy faced mainly by women, are due to an unequal distribution of precariousness fostered by gender power relations and lack of adequate socio-political infrastructures. Women are “at once vulnerable and capable of resistance, and that vulnerability and resistance can, and do, and even must happen at the same time”. The struggle is to find a balance between the necessary demand for institutions to provide the conditions for livable lives, without resorting to modes of paternalism that “reinstate and naturalize relations of inequality” (Judith Butler 2015).

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In/Equalities: From the Reflecting Mirror to the Diffraction Apparatus

With quotes from Donna Haraway, Karen Barad, Judith Butler, Michelle Lazar, Evelien Geerts, Iris Van der Tuin, Clare Hemmings, Antonio Centeno, Carolina Suárez Rasmussen and Ana Solano

Created and contributed by Orianna Calderón, 2018

Keywords: Equality, Diffraction

Equality and gender equality are problematic concepts. Michelle Lazar explains that within a liberal perspective ‘equality implies “same as men”, where the yardstick is that already set by men. Instead of a radical shift in the gender order, women therefore are required to fit into the prevailing androcentric structures’. However, as Lazar also argues, the ideal of achieving equality remains ‘historically important for politically disadvantaged groups of women who have been systematically denied equality under the law’. Looking for a way of discussing in/equalities differently, I have resorted to Haraway and Barad’s proposal of thinking in terms of diffraction rather than reflection: not the reproduction of the same, but a critical consciousness attentive to differences and their effects.

On twelve DVDs on a corkboard, I pasted quotes from academic texts and from the interviews I carried out with filmmakers. Donna Haraway, Karen Barad, Judith Butler, Michelle Lazar, Evelien Geerts, Iris Van der Tuin, Clare Hemmings, Antonio Centeno, Carolina Suárez Rasmussen and Ana Solano. All of these quotes contain insights related to equality and difference. My idea was to build a diffraction apparatus that, by cutting these quotes together-apart, makes legible different approaches to in/equalities.

Download all quotes

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This is a series of news articles found on the internet, in which gender is discussed in reference to migration. The articles are put together one after the other and include notes by the researcher on the margins.

Gender Equality as a Border Guard

Contributed by Tegiye Birey, 2018

Keywords: Biopolitical governmentality, Gender equality, Neoliberalism, Occidentalist gender pact, Equality object

The gender equality gap between migrants and Europeans is one of the discursive constituents of moral panic publicly circulated by European feminists, States and the media outlets in the aftermath of a long Summer of migration in 2015. This discourse has been instrumentalized to justify ‘emergency’ border control measures and disciplinary integration regimes.

Racialization of gender has a centuries-long legacy starting from colonialism. Today, it is most evident in migration politics in Europe. News on ‘gender unequal migrants’ not only justify exclusionary policies, but also shape feminists’ and pro-migrant activists’ perceptions of the Self and the Other, blurring the lines between power and resistance.

A performance made by a group of women from the feminist collective Non Una di Meno in May 2018. They dressed as handmaids in front of the imposing Duomo of the metropolitan city of Milan.

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Handmaids in Milan

Contributed by Wilmarie Rosado Pérez, 2018

Courtesy of Non Una di Meno – Milano

Keywords: Literature, Equality object, Activism, Non Una di Meno

I selected this image because it represents an example of how literature, feminist activism and politics could converge. It also allows me to reflect on how fiction writing has a leading role in imagining other ways of being socially together, on changing perspectives and on articulating cultures of equality.

The image shows a performance made by a group of women from the feminist collective Non Una di Meno in May 2018. They dressed as handmaids in front of the imposing Duomo of the metropolitan city of Milan. Throughout this public performance, the group tried to replicate Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), in which several ‘fertile’ women under a religious and political dictatorship are utilized as reproductive machines to avoid the inevitable extinction of the population. The performance also aimed to celebrate forty years in Italy since the approval of the law providing the right to abortion and invited people to reflect on the possibility of a bleak future in matters of sexual and reproductive rights for women.

The image displayed replicates a pH Scale that measures how acidic or basic a substance is. As a pH scale, it is a rectangle divided into fourteen sections, each of them with a different colour. On the left hand side, the colour red represents when the sample is highly gendered. At the opposite side, on the right hand side, colour purple indicates when something is non-gendered. In the middle of the scale, the colour green represents gender neutrality. One must be aware that there is nothing that is gender neutral or non-gendered per se; thus how gendered the sample is depends on its sociocultural construction and the interpretations given to it in a particular context. Below the scale, representing a universal indicator, there is a red square pointing out that the samples used in the experiment –i.e. the Althusser’s Ideological State Apparatuses- are highly gendered.

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pH Gender Scale

Contributed by Alejandra Benítez Silva, 2018

Keywords: Digital file, Self made art piece, Gender, Althusser

The pH Gender Scale measures how gendered a social structure, an ideology or a cultural production is. The more it tends to the acid, the more gendered the sample is. In this case, the samples are the Ideological State Apparatuses suggested by Althusser in his essay “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation)” published in 1970. Through this piece, it is communicated that social structures and cultural systems are highly gendered. This contravenes the patriarchal myth that proclaims that socio cultural constructions are gender neutral, obscuring and under covering the sexist structures that supports them.

Throughout the video, the camera focuses on a toilet located in a bathroom.  A person in sweatpants and clogs who is only filmed up to the middle of their thighs enters the bathroom. In slow motion, and with interference noises in the background, the video shows how they pull down their pants while bending their knees to take a seat on the toilet. In their panties one can see a smartphone showing a menstrual app. After sitting on the toilet for a short while, the person takes some toilet paper to wipe themselves, throws it into the toilet, pulls up their pants, and flushes. Then they walk out of the bathroom. The last image shows the same scene as in the beginning: a toilet in a bathroom. The video is played in a loop.

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In My Panties

Created and contributed by Johanna Levy, 2017

Keywords: Auto-ethnographic collage

In My Panties is an auto-ethnographic, audiovisual collage that applies the techniques of re-contextualization, deceleration, and cycling in order to reinterpret and appropriate everyday intimate technologies as are menstrual apps. The work is structured in three acts: arrival, confrontation, and parting. In the second act, the interference noises extracted from interview recordings with the period app users seek to underline the agency of smartphones.

The work addresses questions of human–non-human interactions and their embodied, material-digital implications. What happens when we digitize menstrual flows? What changes in our understanding of app-human interactions when blood and data flows are confronted as material agents? Do we become cyborgs and if yes, to what extent and how is it that we become cyborgs?

The collage is made up of many separate pieces; each piece is an ink drawing on white cardboard cut around the shape of the drawing. The viewer can move the pieces around creating their own narratives about gender in sport, challenging stereotypes and preconceptions. The drawings includes: objects used in different sports, figures representing a range of gender identities, body parts, sports wear and words and punctuation, especially question marks, so that the viewer can pose direct questions relating to this subject, both visually and verbally.

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Who Decides?

Created by Lilly Williams, 2019

Contributed by Alejandra Benítez Silva, 2019

Commissioned by GRACE

Keywords: Collage, Women, Sport, Inequality

The collage —or moving drawing— explores objects related to sport and associated with gender. The piece gives the audience the opportunity not only to challenge traditional gender norms and discourses, but also to create narratives to find new ways of being in the world —in this case, in the sport world. The piece aims to create the feeling of excitement, of seeing someone —even just for a moment— liberated from the gendered expectations forced upon them. In the words of the artist, the title attests, ‘to the autonomy of the viewer within the piece —being able to make their own narrative and decide for themselves how this picture looks. But also inviting them to question who is making the decision about how we are seen, what we do, in our own lives, and in society in general.’

Sport is an integral part of our contemporary societies in which sex and gender differences are reproduced. In sport, notions of what must be considered female and masculine are socialized and written and unwritten rules about what people can do according to their biological sex are transmitted and used to legitimize a system based on male power and privilege. However, sport is also a site where sex and gender power relations are challenged and contested making possible social and cultural transformations.

The image shows a colorful mural that represents the Italian coastline made up of lines, shapes, words and images. A childlike drawing of a ship with the word Acquarius written on it is in the middle of an empty space, the sea. Near the ship is the symbol ‘x’, following a red line that comes from the East. From that ‘x’ two arrows begin: one is directed towards the ship, in the North; the other towards the middle of the sea, in the West, where one can read the words: ‘Non ho paura del mare davanti’, which is Italian for “I'm not afraid of the sea ahead’.

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Non Ho Paura del Mare [I’m Not Afraid of the Sea]

Created by Michele Quadri

Contributed by Wilmarie Rosado Pérez, 2018

Courtesy of the artist

Keywords: #apriamoiporti, Sea, #RefugeesWelcome

Currently my investigation is about poetry dealing with themes and tropes related to migration and exile, such as displacement, alienation, citizenship, national identity, and belonging, among others. In many ways, but through a different artistic means, this image addresses the same topics.

The image shows a colorful mural made collectively by a group of people participating in the European project Atlas of Transition. The image refers to recent events in which the Italian ports were closed to a rescue ship Acquarius with 630 migrants on board. The piece makes us reflect on how the sea can be perceived as an open space that could connect countries, but instead, it has evolved into a place of permanent conflict in which not everyone is allowed to transit freely or to arrive in an equal manner to their destination.

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Three Days

Created and contributed by Johanna Levy, 2017

Keyword: Video collage

Three Days is a collage film made of videos of a visual auto-ethnography carried out in February and March 2017. The videos are being contrasted with the information collected via menstrual apps and my field diary.

In my research on menstrual apps I am interested in the equalities and inequalities that are being produced, reproduced and challenged through new media technologies. Three Days addresses this issue by examining how the digitization of periods participates in the exclusion of certain menstrual experiences and identities. Drawing on the findings of Walter Benjamin in his 1980 essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’, the video explores the shifts that take place when qualitative aspects of life are rendered quantitative.

Download video source

The object shows bunting. The downwards facing triangles are connected with a white string. Each triangle is tainted in one of the rainbow’s colors including red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Additionally, triangles with the logo of the event are intersecting between the rainbow patterns. The event’s logo is a downwards facing triangle depicting lavender flowers and the lettering LGBT50. The lettering and edges of the triangle are in soft rose colors. Additionally, the lettering is embedded in a wild flower bed, which includes yellow, white, pink and purple flowers.

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LGBT50 Bunting

Created by Hull2017 Ltd., 2017

Contributed by Barbara Grabher, 2017

Keywords: Decorations, Equality as a brand

The banners originate from the celebratory week addressed as LGBT50 during Hull’s celebration of the title UK City of Culture. The event series marked the fiftieth anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales. These decorations physically alternated and marked the central square of the city, which became the stage of interventions and celebrations on the final day of the week-long event series.

The celebrations of LGBT50 are crucial to my research in the production of cultures of equality in the culture-led mega-event in Hull. Next to the importance of the celebrations as field for the investigation. The decorations, and their dismantling and gifting to community members inspires and informs my conceptualizations of the need, value but as well limitations of celebrations of equality.

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Circle of Chairs

Contributed by Athena-Maria Enderstein, 2016

Keywords: Chairs, Circle

This is a circle of chairs, as you would see in a training for gender equality. They represent the creation of a comfortable and safe space for exchange and learning where each voice has equal worth.

My research is about training for gender equality, and the chairs are a symbol of the conversations and learnings that trainers aim to facilitate in their workshops through group interaction to create ‘moments of equality.’

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A Conversation with Mamela Nyamza and Mojisola Adebayo

Created by Lisa Fingleton, 2013

Contributed by Paola Prieto López, 2018

Courtesy of the filmmaker and the artists

Keyword: Conversation

The performance “I Stand Corrected” talks about corrective Rape in South Africa. Throughout her work, Mojisola Adebayo she builds feminist transnational networks of solidarity with the African diaspora across time and space in the African diaspora, connecting experiences of homophobia, racism and inequality in two different locales, Britain and South Africa.

My research directly engages with Mojisola Adebayo’s work and her transnational projects.

Source of the video.