Tuesday, May 5, 2020

UVA Virtual Exhibition Now Live!

Unbound Visual Arts Exhibition Wellness: 
Art for Physical and Emotional Healing

Date: View "live" on Monday, May 4, 2020 through June 30, 2020
Description: Unbound Visual Arts (UVA), a UNESCO/UNITWIN Affiliate, is creating a series of 3-dimensional exhibits using a virtual gallery. The first one will be the very timely “Wellness: Art for Physical and Emotional Healing” which premiered at Lasell University’s Wedeman Gallery in October 2018. Cosponsors included the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture & Development at Boston University's WGS (Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program) and the Gender & International Development Initiatives of the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center (GaIDI/WSRC). This Exhibition, curated by UVA Executive Director John Quatrale, features 13 artists (12 women!) and 29 works of art. The artists in the Exhibit showcase different understandings of health and wellness -- the wellness of a person, an animal, and even nature itself, and the interaction and relationship among all three. The artwork further demonstrates how art can help us both understand and represent the concept of wellness.

Don't forget to Save the Date!

Unbound Visual Arts Exhibition
Opening Program for Wellness: 
Art for Physical and Emotional Healing

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
Join us, and be well!

Brenda (on behalf of UVA, UNESCO/UNITWIN at WGS/BU, and GaIDI/WSRC)

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Shahla Haeri's The Unforgettable Queens of Islam Now Published!

Photo by Walter Crump
Dr. Shahla Haeri’s new book entitled The Unforgettable Queens of Islam: Succession, Authority, Gender was published in March 2020 by Cambridge University Press. Here is the book's announcement from the Cambridge University Press, including most positive reviews & endorsements: https://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/

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!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Congratulations to Dr. Roberta Micallef on winning Boston University's Prestigious Susan K. Jackson Award!

The UNESCO/UNITWIN Network joins WGS Director Cati Connell in applauding Roberta Micallef on winning Boston University’s Susan K. Jackson Award!
Photo courtesy BU
Dr. Micallef has been a long-standing contributor to the initiatives of our Network, including sharing her gender justice work on Turkish women in prisons, and women and gender perspectives from the Ottoman Empire to modern Turkey.

We can't say we're surprised: as announced on the CAS website, she "helps foster the unique and vibrant intellectual community of BU"—and beyond!

The energy Dr. Micallef invests in social justice concerns inspires us all! As former mentees attest, she has changed the lives of many.

Brava to Robreta for radiating creativity and commitment to the BU—and global!—communities, and for being such a great leader!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Longtime UNESCO/UNITWIN Affiliate, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, honored as a Member of the Governing Board of Directors for the TIME’S UP Foundation!

Photo Credit: Jason Arrol
Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is a Deputy Director for the All On The Line campaign, a project of the National Redistricting Action Fund. Please see the announcement from her original Facebook post below:

“I am pleased to publicly announce that over this past winter, I joined the Governing Board of Directors for the Time's Up Foundation (c3) and Now (c4) led by my incredible former Obama White House colleague, and now President and CEO, Tina Tchen.

TIME’S UP™ insists upon a world where everyone is safe and respected at work. A world where women have an equal shot at success and security. A world where no one lives in fear of sexual harassment or assault.

The TIME’S UP™ Foundation is the industry and impact arm of TIME’S UP. We enable more people to seek justice through the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund™. We pioneer innovative research driving toward solutions to address systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace through the TIME’S UP Impact Lab. And we support industry leaders in shifting the paradigm of workplace culture toward one of safety, equity, and dignity for women of all kinds through TIME’S UP’s industry change initiatives. The TIME’S UP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

TIME’S UP™ Now aims to create a society free of gender-based discrimination in the workplace and beyond by helping change culture, companies, and laws. We want every person — across race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender identity, and income level — to be safe on the job and have equal opportunity for economic success and security. TIME’S UP Now is an independent, nonpartisan, and not-for-profit 501(c)(4) charitable organization.

Please check out our two websites:

Congratulations Raffi on this tremendous honor!

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Delhi-based Raghu Rai awarded highest honor bestowed upon a living photographer!

Raghu Rai, world-renowned photographer and supporter over the decades of our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture & Development, has received a prestigious award from the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris. The Academy of Fine Arts Photography Award – William Klein was established in 2019, and Raghu was honored as the first recipient in November of that year. The award is in tribute to the entire career and commitment of the winner; this consecration award is endowed with 120,000 euros (approx.. US $133,000). The award ceremony was accompanied by an exhibition of Raghu’s work at the Palais de l’Institut de France from United Nations Day October 24, 2019 for one month. Below are several photographs of Raghu with the 2019 edition jury as well as videos of his work. Enjoy!

See the Press Release here: https://www.raghuraicenterforphotography.com/press-2/ 

Image by Raghu Rai shown at the award ceremony

Raghu Rai center with the ceremony dignitaries 
Raghu Rai at left, Sebastian Salgado at center,
and Bruno Barbey at right

Slide show of Raghu Rai's photography

Raghu acknowledging the award

Raghu addressing the audience

Saturday, January 18, 2020

News on GaIDI-WSRC's screening of "Nowhere to Call Home: The tale of a Tibetan migrant worker in Beijing" - cosponsored by our UNITWIN!

Update: On January 14, 2020, award-winning Jocelyn Ford screened her film at Brandeis' WSRC with the Tibetan community. The event was sponsored by GaIDI and supported by Unbound Visual Arts and the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture & Development. See the Flickr set of photos from the event here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmKPaw3H

Photo Credit: Mei-Mei Ellerman
Originally published as "Please join us for GaIDI-WSRC's screening of 'Nowhere to Call Home: The tale of a Tibetan migrant worker in Beijing' - cosponsored by our UNITWIN!," 24 January 2018

You are invited to GaIDI's February 1st event, a screening of Nowhere to Call Home: The tale of a Tibetan migrant worker in Beijing.

As announced by GaIDI (Gender and International Development Initiatives) of the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center:

Director Jocelyn Ford, an award-winning international filmmaker and journalist, will provide introductory commentary followed by a Q&A after the film.

Date: Thursday, February 1st
Place: Liberman-Miller Lecture Hall, 
Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center (WSRC)
515 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453
Time: 12:30-2:30 PM 

Shot in the slums of Beijing and a remote village in Tibet, the film offers a rare and intimate glimpse into the world of a Tibetan farmer, recently widowed, torn between her traditional way of life and her desire for her son to have a better future. It follows the protagonist, after she flees to the capital with her six-year-old son, the only surviving heir to a Tibetan clan, as she contends with the racism Tibetans encounter. Along the way, the documentary challenges common Western stereotypes about Chinese and Tibetans, and reveals a dark side of life in a traditional village, where the saying goes, "women aren't worth a penny."

Translated into 11 languages, the verité-style documentary has garnered prestigious awards, including the NHK's prestigious 2015 Japan Foundation President's Award, a leading international award for educational documentaries, Italy's Trento Solidarity Award, and a special mention at Belgium's Millenium International Film Festival. It has also received acclaim from both Tibetans and Han Chinese in the People's Republic of China. In the US, the Nowhere to Call Home premiere sold out at the Museum of Modern Art, followed by full house screenings in San Francisco and Massachusetts. 

Poster of the film Nowhere to Call Home 

Please click on the following link to view the trailer of Nowhere to Call Home. Please spread the word. Looking forward to seeing you on Feb. 1st!

Sponsored by Gender and International Development Initiatives (GaIDI) of the Brandeis University Women's Studies Research Center (WSRC), and co-sponsored by the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture & People-Centered Development at Boston University Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program (WGS), and by Unbound Visual Arts (UVA), Inc. 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Nicole Rizzo's "To Stop Treading Water: Monologues that Challenge the Undertow of Trauma" in the UNESCO/UNITWIN Diary Series

Photo courtesy Stephen Vocaturo
at stephenvocaturo.com
The following video based on my Kilachand Honors College Senior Keystone Project at Boston University concerns the pervasive socio-cultural problem of sexual assault and/or trauma, particularly on college campuses. This is a topic continuously in circulation on various social media platforms (just think: Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, the Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, and the President of the United States). Movements such as #MeToo and feminist plays such as for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf and The Vagina Monologues have powerfully given voice to survivors by offering intersectional perspectives and raising awareness. My Keystone Project was essentially an activist endeavor – one that aimed to deconstruct the universalizing narrative of the “victim” and the “survivor” seen through the historical lenses of racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism. I have written a Vagina-Monologue-choreopoem-inspired play, To Stop Treading Water: Monologues that Challenge the Undertow of Trauma, that combines monologues, movement, and music to address the violence of rape culture and explore the diverse array of trauma responses. The play was performed on April 24th and 25th, 2018 with the assistance of a team of committed performers and designers, who also assisted with the development of educational multimedia (i.e. videos/graphics) materials and a website to contain them. Research on postmodern drama that grapples with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and sexual assault (which also served as the basis for my senior Honors Thesis in English) and the use of ethnographic approaches to gathering ideas, such as conducting interviews with sexual trauma survivors, informed my work. In essence, my Keystone Project was an attempt to give voice to survivors of sexual assault/trauma and inspire a call to action.

Congratulations to Yaaminey Mubayi on her Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship!

News in from Yaaminey, who joined our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network as a Founding Member with the New Delhi-based Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative in 2007: 

"I have received the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship, enabling me to carry out a research cum teaching program at Mount Holyoke College this academic year, 2019-20. My research focuses on my study of historic water management in Ellora and Daulatabad, Maharashtra, that I have been engaged with for the past several years. I hope to complete the manuscript for my next book on the subject by end year."

Within our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network over the years, Yaaminey has been contributing in such arenas as livelihoods in Punjab and Orissa, endogenous tourism including gender implications such as commercialism competing with women's traditional livelihoods, and intangible cultural heritage.

Photo Courtesy Yaaminey
In the first e-book of our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network, Yaaminey contributed a chapter entitled "Poverty of Choice: Gender and Livelihoods in Punjab." We now look forward to her new book in the arena of water and human settlements in Maharashtra.

Summary Bio: Yaaminey Mubayi is an Historian and Social Development Professional with twenty years of experience in the field of Cultural Heritage Studies. With an interest in fieldwork-based applied learning as her core motivation, she has combined research and institutional experience with academic practice and forged an innovative professional niche in the area of Cultural Heritage and Development Planning.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Beyond the Book XI Exhibition Opens and Artists' Talks Announced! (UPDATE: plus Artists' Talks photoset!)

UPDATE: Photoset from Artists' Talks on November 23, 2019: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmJSeApw

Beyond the Book XI with 85 works of art was opened to the public at the Faneuil and Brighton Center Branches of the Boston Public Library on November 9, 2019.

Below, a glimpse of the reception at the Faneuil Library as well as an event description by Exhibition Organizer, Ronni Komarow. The events are cosponsored by the Friends of the Faneuil Library, and supported by the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture, and People-Centered Development at Boston University Women's & Gender Studies. (Photos by Brenda Gael McSweeney)

Exhibit Organizer Ronni Komarow welcoming 
Artists Dennis Dahill and Ruth Rosner with Maria Rodrigues

Group Photo with Exhibition Artists
Applause for newly elected Boston City Councilor Liz Breadon

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Liz Breadon Makes History on Election Day in Boston!

Three cheers for Liz Breadon! Liz, who served on the Board of Directors of our UNESCO/UNITWIN Affiliate the Brighton-Allston Historical Society, made history on November 5 2019 by winning the election to become the first-ever woman representing Brighton-Allston on the Boston City Council!

 Her key plans include:

- Combating suffocating luxury development through promotion of affordable housing
- Championing strong schools for strong communities
- Campaigning for transportation that actually gets you there
- Protecting the environment and green space in the community (for which Liz walks the talk by having installed solar panels and rain water harvesting at home)

Liz and her progressive platform, with 58.5% of the vote in the Municipal Elections, earned a decisive mandate!


Photos by Brenda Gael McSweeney