New Narratives: Reclaiming Asian Identity Through Story
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
UNESCO/UNITWIN Network Affiliate Unbound Visual Arts (UVA) is hosting a new series called New Narratives: Reclaiming Asian Identity Through Story. Long active in our Network, Mei-Mei Ellerman is featured as a Storyteller in UVA's latest exhibition event with several NGO Partners. Congratulations to UVA, the Artists, and Storytellers engaged in this creative work!
More on UVA's latest exhibition Storyteller event here: https://www.unboundvisualarts.
Mei-Mei's full story in UVA's link above:
Storyteller Artist Statement
A brief account of my decades-long search for identity and belonging.
Though I still consider myself a world citizen, having lived in many countries I consider "home," it was only by attempting to weave together the endless threads of my families' tapestry (adoptive and biological), that I developed a full sense of my identity.
According to my Maman, grandfather use to say, "Wherever you hang your hat is Home." That is how she felt as she spent decades living on different continents until she gently slipped away at the age of 94. I followed in both their footsteps, and never felt out of place, no matter what the country, even if I didn't speak the language. And yet, did I fully belong? Was I able to close my eyes and feel that I was surrounded by "my people?"
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Here's a message from DB Reiff about Lisa Hirsh of the Board of the Friends of Faneuil Library, a UNESCO/UNITWIN Affiliate, and Lisa's artwork, which resonates with our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network interests in Environmental Heritage. Brava to Lisa!
Some of you know that Lisa is a watercolor painter.
Recently she submitted a painting to the Newton Watercolor Society to be considered for its show "Nature in Watercolor." Not only was the painting, Vernal Pool in the Rain, accepted, it was awarded First Prize in the "Most Creative and Imaginative" category.
Here is the commentary by the judge, Barry Van Dusen, about the painting:
"Not only is this piece whimsical and FUN, it also shows a sophisticated use of repeated patterns and rhythms, and employs a gestural application of paint that provides great variety and movement. I could look at this for a long time, and still make new discoveries!"
I thought you'd enjoy this 90 second video of Lisa discussing what inspired her to paint the pool and the materials she used. It is shot on location in Brighton, Mass.
Vernal Pool in the Rain
Also, The Newton Festival of the Arts will broadcast its festival online this October and all of the art groups in Newton have been asked to participate, so you can see Lisa's painting and many Newton artists' work there.
Good September to all,
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Dates: September 4 through October 31, 2020
Location: Galatea Fine Art, 460 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118
Description: 100 Years (and Counting) is a tribute to the centennial of the 19th Amendment of the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote. It is also a fund-raising project for Fair Fight, an organization founded by Stacey Abrams and dedicated to promoting voting rights for all qualified citizens. There are 100 gloves in Galatea artist Ronni Komarow's installation, signifying the centennial; white was the color worn by suffragists and is symbolic of the cause. Jennie Loitman Barron, one of the 100 women honored by Ronni, is also featured in "Women of Vision: The Brighton Allston Women's Heritage Trail Guide" of the Brighton-Allston Historical Society (BAHS), a UNESCO/UNITWIN Affiliate, at
and in the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail organization‘s recently-launched Suffrage Trail at
Artist Ronni Komarow is affiliated with the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture & People-Centered Development anchored at Boston University's Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, an officer of the Board of Directors of Galatea Fine Art and of the BAHS, and an Alumna of Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Center.
More Info: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/ronni-komarow-100-years-and-counting
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Hope you had a nice weekend!
We're writing to confirm the launch of our new UNESCO/UNITWIN Network "Women & UN Origins" series! Joining us in shaping and publishing the series is the Buenos Aires-based Global Network of UNESCO Chairs on Gender led by Gloria Bonder.
First in the series is an article by Margaret (Peg) Snyder entitled "THEY CAN MOVE US BUT THEY CAN’T STOP US: Surviving the Early Years of 'Women and Development' in the United Nations," attached below. Dr. Snyder, long affiliated with our BU/WGS-based UNESCO/UNITWIN Network, is the Founding Director of UNIFEM (1978-89) as well as a co-founder of the African Centre for Women in 1971. This feature provides a firsthand view, in Peg’s words, of the "... history on the vagaries of establishing the women’s center in Addis and UNIFEM."
Thanks to Peg for her candid presentation of unique insights into these pivotal events --- and Brava for her pioneering contributions decade after decade!
As Gloria notes, we want "... particularly to encourage young researchers and activists to know and value what has been done and achieved." Our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network and the Global Network of UNESCO Chairs on Gender both wish to highlight the importance of sharing direct accounts on the creation of key international institutions and pathbreaking initiatives, for today’s social justice activists, academics and students, and policymakers.
Cheers, & be well, Brenda
Brenda Gael McSweeney on behalf of the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture, and People-Centered Development;
with Gloria Bonder on behalf of the Global Network of UNESCO Chairs on Gender
|L to R: Marilyn Carr, Peg Snyder, Pamela Mboya, Brenda Gael McSweeney: |
ATRCW/ECA, Addis (Circa 1975)!
Photo: Collection of Marilyn Carr
More here: http://www.brendamcsweeney.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/HighlightsReel_23June2020.pdf
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Black Lives Matter
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
~ UNESCO/UNITWIN Network
|Agnes Igoye and Cyrus Konstantinakos|
Photo courtesy of Cyrus
Thank you to Brenda and Nicole for inviting me to describe Reclaiming the Pearl: Uganda Through the Eyes of Trafficking Survivors for the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network blog!
This book presents photos and written text by Ugandan survivors of human trafficking and others in their production teams on the beauty of their country. It introduces wide-ranging topics, from tropical rainforests to equatorial glaciers, and from ancient kingdoms to social entrepreneurship initiatives that address the local effects of climate change.
The title, Reclaiming the Pearl, expresses two sentiments. One is the photographer-authors’ hope to raise global awareness of Uganda as “the Pearl of Africa,” as it was described by Winston Churchill in 1907. The other is a celebration of the photographer-authors themselves and the strides they are taking to revive their dreams.
Our Global Cultures is a project I’ve been fortunate to create with Humphrey Fellows, humanitarian leaders in-the-making from developing and newly industrialized countries who spend a year in the U.S. under the auspices of the U.S. State Department. For this book, I was very fortunate to team-up with Agnes Igoye, a Humphrey alumna and a global voice in the fight against human trafficking. We were also joined by Phylicia Martel, a specialist in youth, gender equity, and women’s empowerment programs at Peace Corps Uganda, where we ran our photo-essay camp. The project was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Kampala.
This book, and others that the "Our Global Cultures" project has produced in Japan, Guam, and Nicaragua, are all motivated by the idea of “internationalization at home”—the belief that local people who may lack global mobility deserve opportunities to build global agency. Our photographer-authors have certainly done so!
Note about “group” photo credits:
We had a limited number of cameras in this project, so the production teams shared cameras, and everyone agreed to credit photos to the groups rather than individual members.
|"Just a few women and their cows - making a difference in Eastern Uganda." (pgs 6-7, Reclaiming the Pearl)|
|Farmer of Mount Elgon processing Arabica coffee beans, "the pride of the Bagisu" people. (pg 8, Reclaiming the Pearl)|
|In the Acholi Region, "agriculture remains the main industry." (pg 19, Reclaiming the Pearl)|
|Acholi women celebrate music and dance as "means of promoting gender equality and cohesion in the community." (pgs 22-23, Reclaiming the Pearl)|
|Acholi woman with calabash - "a symbol of unity in Northern Uganda." (pgs 30-31, Reclaiming the Pearl)|
|YAWE Drama Group using "song and dance to spread awareness about health and positive living." (pg 70, Reclaiming the Pearl)|
|Ugandan woman cooking, providing for her community (pg 81, Reclaiming the Pearl)|
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Art for Physical and Emotional Healing
Don't forget to Save the Date!
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2020 from 7-8:30pm by Zoom
Location: Online via Zoom. Register around May 7, 2020 at https://www.unboundvisualarts.org/wellness-virtual-exhibit/
Description: The May 21st Opening Program for Unbound Visual Arts Wellness Virtual Exhibit is still evolving and may include a short tour, music, and artist talks -- and perhaps some surprise entertainment! The Exhibit may be viewed on the UVA website on May 4th and will run through June 30th. New virtual exhibits with online sales opportunities are also in the planning stages, and UVA hopes to announce calls for art very soon.
|Anita Helen Cohen, Unspoiled, water color on yupo, 27 x 29 inches|
Brenda (on behalf of UVA, UNESCO/UNITWIN at WGS/BU, and GaIDI/WSRC)
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
|Photo by Walter Crump|
Shahla shared this from her new volume: "This book is about the extraordinary biographies of several Muslim women rulers and leaders who reached the apex of political systems of their times. Their stories illuminate the complex and challenging imperatives of dynastic succession, electoral competition and the stunning success they achieved in medieval Yemen and India, and modern Pakistan and Indonesia. Religious and legal justifications have been systematically invoked to justify Muslim women's banishment from politics and public domains. Yet this patriarchal domination has not gone on without serious challenges by women. The Unforgettable Queens of Islam highlights lives and legacies of a number of charismatic women engaged in fierce battles of succession, and their stories offer striking insights into the workings of political power in the Muslim world."
Congratulations to Shahla on this mega-contribution to the field!