Women in Bush's America
Date: March 8, 2005
Location: CCC Hokin Gallery
Partner: CCC Women and Gender Studies program (Department of Liberal Education)
Institute Executive Director Jane M. Saks led a six-person panel discussion between artists, health workers, academics, and activists from various generations investigating a range of issues related to women in this particular time in our country and in the world.
From Prison To Parliament, An Afternoon Tea with Ahmed Kathrada
Date: March 28, 2005, 3:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: 600 S. Michigan Avenue, Room 401
Partner: The Liberal Education Department
Ahmed Kathrada, one of Nelson Mandela's closest "comrades" visited Chicago to promote this critically acclaimed boo, Memoirs, where he writes about his journey from activist to political prisoner to Member of Parliament. After serving 26 years in prison with Mandela. "Kathy", as he was affectionately known, was appointed Political Advisor to President Mandela. He went to become the primary force behind turning the infamous Robben Island Prison into a museum. People all over the world have been moved by his message, encapsulated in this quote: "While we will never forget the brutality of apartheid, we do not want Robben Island to be a monument of our hardship and suffering. We want it to be a triumph of the human spirit against small minds and pettiness, a triumph of courage and determination over human frailty and weakness."
Date: May 4, 2005
Location: HotHouse, 33 W. Balbo Ave.
Partner: CCC Office of LGBT Student Concerns
The Institute co-sponsored this panel discussion and performances with the Office of LGBT Student Concerns that investigated a wide range of gender issues.
Distant Parallels Film Festival: Views of Sexuality and Gender from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico
Screenings and lunch-time discussions
Date: September/October 2005
Location: Gene Siskel Film Center
Partners: CCC Latino Cultural Affairs; The Nineteenth Step Film Collective; Gene Siskel Film Center
The Institute hosted guests, including Columbia faculty, filmmakers, local scholars, visiting artists, and curators for selected film screenings and three lunch discussions of the work at the Distant Parallels Film Festival. "Distant Parallels: Views of Sexuality and Gender from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico" showcases "work done by emerging directors who, by virtue of their daring vision, are able to poignantly reveal the complexity of sexuality and life. These films and videos... offer a gaze into the many ways in which men and women continue to live, question and defy their traditional roles."
The guests of honor at our luncheons were Santiago Mitre, director of Amor Primera Parte; Eli Bartolo, featured in the documentary Authentic and Intrepid Seekers of Danger, an elementary school teacher who talks about gender issues with children; and Ana Luiza Beraba, curator of the Brazilian portion of the festival.
Lunch Discussion with Margi Cole of Dance COLEctive
Date: October 11, 2005
Location: Alexandroff Campus Center, Room 502
Ms. Cole discussed her then work-in-progress, Written on the Body, with a select group of Columbia faculty, staff, Dance COLEctive dancers, and a Columbia trustee. Her work is inspired by the writings and lives of the Brontë sisters, all of whom published works under male pseudonyms in the 1830's (Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Agnes Grey). Written on the Body utilizes the Brontë's hidden lives as a framework for exploration of the male and female representation of ideas through the medium of dance. Cole has a cast of female and male dancers, representing both the Brontë sisters (Charlotte, Emily andd Ann) and their male alter-egos (Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell). Written on the Body features an original soundscore by musician Kevin O'Donnell, costumes by Atalee Judy and motion capture and graphics by Michael Cole.
Jeanne Gang, Marcelo Carvalho Ferraz, and Zeuler Lima in Conversation: the Legacy of Architect Lina Bo Bardi
Date: November 1, 2005
Location: Museum of Contemporary Art
Partner: Museum of Contemporary Art
Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, Brazilian architect Marcelo Carvalho Ferraz, and Zeuler Lima discussed the legacy of Lina Bo Bardi ¬-- architect, furniture and scenographic designer, and founder of the first museum of modern art in Brazil. This lecture, attended by over 150 people, was sponsored in part by the Institute as part of the MCA's Tropicália exhibition and the Stone Family Lecture Series. Tropicália, one of the most significant cultural movements to emerge from South America in the last five decades, marked a true revolution in Brazilian music, visual arts, theater, and cinema, while also influencing advertising, fashion, and television. This exhibition revisited this seminal moment in Brazilian culture, examining tropicálismo as a true force in popular culture and a continuing source of inspiration for several generations of artists, writers, and musicians.
Crafty Culture: Feminism, Activism, and the DIY Ethic
Date: November 3, 2005
Location: Film Row Cinema Theatre, 1104 S. Wabash, 8th Floor
Crafting - knitting, needlepoint, beading, scrapbooking, sewing and more - can simply be a hobby, a way to unwind, a creative outlet - or a way to reclaim traditional women's work with a modern spin, start one's own business, reject prepackaged/sweatshop-produced goods, raise money for charitable causes, and mobilize for political action. The Institute presented a panel discussion, attended by over 100 people, explored the possibilities of "craftivism." While crafting is often a solitary activity, the popularity of groups like Stitch 'n' Bitch, indie art/craft fairs, magazines like ReadyMade, and Web sites such as craftster.org have helped like-minded women (and men) to network, exchange ideas, and market their products. The panel addressed questions such as: What does "crafty culture" mean for a new generation of feminists? Why is this explosion of craft happening now? How can we channel our creative passions into activism? In an aesthetic environment obsessed with high design, what place do our handcrafted objects have - and as women's work, are they truly valued in the economic system? Do they have any cultural capital? Is the do-it-yourself movement - with its roots in both punk culture and old-fashioned frugality -- inclusive to people of varied race and class or predominantly a white, middle class phenomenon - and why? Panelists included "craftivist" Cinnamon Cooper, Time Out Chicago editor Annie Tomlin, and painter/poet Alejandra Valera, three women active in the Chicago DIY community. The panel was moderated by Annette Ferrara, founder of TENbyTEN magazine, managing editor of online arts and culture magazine Flavorpill Chicago, and an avid knitter. This event was conceived and presented entirely by the Institute.