Tuesday, April 4, 2023

UNITWIN Director, Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney, invited to show her artwork at UVA's latest exhibit!

Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney, Director of the BU-based UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture, and People-Centered Development, had her artwork included in the most recent Unbound Visual Arts' exhibition! See more below. Compiled by Nicole Rizzo.

Dr. McSweeney's photograph titled "Village and Global Women Leaders in West Africa" emerges from an historical moment where women of Burkina Faso engaged in tending the land as a part of climate justice-focused practice. 

According to McSweeney, this photograph captures at left Habibou Ouédraogo, Women's Leader in the village of Zimtenga, Kongoussi Zone, Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) and at right, Scholastique Kompaoré, National Coordinator of the UNESCO Project for Equal Access of Women and Girls to Education in the 1970s. They are debating the challenges of gender injustice, including the subordination of women and girls and violence against them, lack of climate protection, and income inequality. They militated to implement programs in income-poor villages to lighten women's and girls' oppressive workloads, to ensure climate justice, and to free up time and energy for educational and lucrative activities -- against all odds. Often the men of the Project villages were persuaded to join in to help achieve these goals in the interest of community advancement and harmony. Mme. Kompaoré went on to champion gender and climate justice and inter-communal communication with the United Nations directing programs at the community level across Africa. She subsequently was President of her country's chapter of Marche Mondiale des Femmes/World March of Women that aims to eliminate discrimination and violence against women.

John Quatrale, UVA Executive Director
Photo by Blanca Diaz

Kudos to Curator Jingyi (Tina) Wang and her team as well as to all participating Artists, Officers of UVA, and sponsors, on timely and thought-provoking exhibition!

Exhibition on Climate Equity: A Better Future For All

Organized and presented by Unbound Visual Arts and curated by Jingyi (Tina) Wang

Artists: Nancer Ballard, Mary Barton-Lech, Gwen Cory, Nancy Crasco, Samantha Fein, Elizabeth Lapides, Pauline Lim, Elisandra Lopes, Chelsea Martel-White, Michael McLaughlin, Alex Miklowski, Shelby Myerhoff, Brenda Gael McSweeney, Matthew Okazaki, Katha Seidman, Diana Stelin 

Exhibit Assistants - Jessica Hernandez, Mila Roemer, Natalie Schweikhart, Shuxian Zhang

February 23 - March 31, 2023

Panel Discussion and Wine Reception - Friday March 31, 2023 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Opening Reception:  Saturday, February 25, 2023

Live keyboard music by Mae Siu Wai Stroshane and refreshments

Arthaus Art Exhibit Gallery - 43 N. Beacon St., Allston, MA


Curator's Statement:

These days, most of us probably have already heard the term “climate change” a million times — we are all well aware of what it means and what things should be done to save the environment — but what about “climate equity”?

Environmental equity means both protection from environmental hazards as well as access to environmental benefits for all, regardless of income, race, and other characteristics. Climate change has affected the poorest population around the world most drastically, creating “climate refugees”. According to Mercy Corps “nearly 70% of all new displacements in the first six months of last year were the result of weather-related disasters, with a total of 9.8 million people around the world driven from their homes by shocks like drought, hurricanes, and landslides — around 50,000 people every day”, and “if sea levels continue to rise without intervention, many of those living near the ocean — about 40 percent of the world’s population — will be at risk of losing their homes”. 

The good news is that many people are actively seeking a solution. For instance, the Equity Fund is investing in the leadership in Black, Latinx, AAPI, and indigenous communities bearing the brunt of climate change. By engaging voters in these communities, they are getting climate and clean energy policy solutions that reflect communities' priorities and advancing racial, economic, and environmental justice.

Here at UVA, we also want to do our parts. In “Climate Equity: A Better Future For All," we are aiming  to address the long-ignored issue of climate equity, and let more people know that not everyone is provided the resources to “go green”. We want our audience to know that the environmental crisis is not only about sustainability, but also resources and power. The participating artists are lending their  voices to the unheard to tell the story that has been lingering outside the public’s sight.

Some of the artworks in this exhibit:

Top row:

Brenda Gael McSweeney, Village and Global Women Leaders in West Africa

Pauline Lim, Thaddeus Bartlett’s House, Skinnerville View

Samantha Fein

Bottom row:

Katha Seidman

Michael McLaughlin

Alex Miklowski

Source for above materials: https://www.unboundvisualarts.org/climate-equity-a-better-future-for-all/

New Publication: A Few Good Gays: The Gendered Compromises Behind Military Inclusion by Dr. Cati Connell

Former Director of WGS, Dr. Catherine 'Cati' Connell, recently had a new monograph titled A Few Good Gays: The Gendered Compromises Behind Military Inclusion published by University of California Press in December 2022. Cati was Director of WGS from 2017 through June 2022.

Photo courtesy of WGS Newsletter for 2021-2022

Check out the description on Google Books: https://books.google.com/books/about/A_Few_Good_Gays.html?id=WHyIEAAAQBAJ

Three cheers for Cati on this fabulous accomplishment!!!

UNESCO/UNITWIN Network Affiliate Ronni Komarow's latest exhibition!

UNESCO/UNITWIN Network Affiliate Ronni Komarow recently had her work on display in the exhibit titled There Goes the Neighborhood hosted by Galatea Fine Art. This exhibit ran from March 3rd through April 2nd. Ronni's exhibit explores the tensions between community homeowners and larger entities that seek to diminish physical spaces within neighborhood communities in favor of overbuilding and commercialization. See more here: https://www.galateafineart.com/

Ronni Komarow in front of her artwork
Photograph courtesy of Eric West

Photographer Eric West reflects on the opening night of the exhibition such that "[it] was a well attended opening ... Ronni’s piece elicited an abundance of 'Wows' …and people generally responded well to the work. Over-building is something that resonates."

Artist Statement from the Exhibit

For years I've been constantly getting letters from real-estate developers, offers to buy my house in Brighton, a neighborhood of Boston. Some are straight-forward business letters. Others are made to look like hand-written notes, arriving in greeting-card-style envelopes. These letters are full of promises, though I have no doubt that the beneficiary of such a deal would not be me. Many of my neighbors get these same letters, sometimes with dollar bills enclosed in the envelopes.

As an artist I knew that something creative could be done with all these letters, and I've collected them for the past several years. This installation includes roughly 250 paper houses covered with letters that I received from developers.

The installation is a statement about neighborhood preservation, and the fragility of urban communities. 

Visitors are welcome to purchase a paper house for $10 with proceeds going to the Boston Preservation Alliance. See the display near the entrance to this gallery.

I wish to thank my collaborators on this project without whom this installation would not have been possible: Eric West, Isaac West, Susan Jones, and Harry Busteed.

Here's a sample of the houses in Ronni's installation:

Photo courtesy of Brenda Gael McSweeney

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

New Publication: Madwomen in Social Justice Movements, Literatures, and Art

One of our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network Affiliates, Nicole Rizzo, recently had the chapter "Mad Time: On Temporality, Trauma, Hysterical Figures, and Liminal Shifters in Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse” published in a peer reviewed collection titled, Madwomen in Social Justice Movements, Literatures, and Art, edited by Jessica Lowell Mason and Nicole Crevar, and published by Vernon Press in November 2022. 

Nicole is a third-year PhD Student at Indiana University Bloomington focusing on twentieth-century and contemporary American and British literature, modernism, postmodern drama, trauma studies, disability studies, gender & sexuality studies, queer theory, critical race theory, and performance studies. Three cheers for Nicole on her first peer reviewed publication!

For more, see: 
Rizzo, Nicole Ann. “Mad Time: On Temporality, Trauma, Hysterical Figures, and Liminal Shifters in Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse.”Madwomen in Social Justice Movements, Literatures, and Art, edited by Jessica Lowell Mason and Nicole Crevar, Vernon Press, 2022, pp. 93-114.

Photo courtesy of Nicole Rizzo