Women & Environments International Magazine

Biannual Canadian journal examing women in their natural and social environments from a feminist viewpoint.

Articles from No. 72/73, Fall

Art + Activism = ATSA
Over the past twenty years, feminist politics have changed, mirroring an increasingly conservative political climate. In Canada, too, second-wave feminism has been dampened by the effects of time, to the extent that there's a widely held belief in intellectual...
Chinese Women Promoting Equality between Men and Women in the Field of Culture and Art
China is a country that is deeply rooted in tradition. Since 1996, when the chairman of China announced equality between men and women as national policy, the government has held enormous training classes to publicize the policy and passed new laws such...
Coping with and Preventing Environmental Loss through Art
A Tale of Two CitiesAlthough they have never met, Toronto's Laurie Kallis and Liz Lott, from North Bay in Ontario, have a lot in common: both are single mothers, self-proclaimed feminists, and activist artists. Kallis became an environmental artist activist...
Creating Art and Social Change in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside
In the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES), a group of women are discovering how the creative process and act of art-making are powerful forces for social change. Through art and creative entrepreneurship, women in the community are working...
Crossing Boundaries
Women, Art, and Community ActivismWhat is the magic that art brings into our community gatherings, our social and environmental activism, our daily lives? The small group of women who gathered in early 2006 to dream up this issue of Women & Environments...
Description of Speak
Voices of Young Women: Gender Inequality in South and Central AmericaWithin my artistic practice, I explore subjects concerning some of the social struggles people resist in South America. Through painting, I attempt to open a voice for these people,...
Drawing the Circle: From the Community to the Studio to the Classroom and Back Again
At the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco in 1987, I saw the Names Project's AIDS Memorial Quilt displayed for the first time in its entirety. The individual panels of this enormous and ever-expanding public art project were all made for the...
Earth's Beauty Is Fading
Mischievous Raging Grannies to the Rescue!They crash commissions and wreak havoc on politicians' carefully timed visits-they're the Raging Grannies, and they don't worry about respectability. Instead, they use their sharp, witty tongues to sound the...
Eva Quintas' Portraits of Resistance
An OverviewThe arresting series of portraits by artist Eva Quintas, collectively titled "Portraits of Resistance," was initiated during her residency in Mexico in 2004, which was supported by the Quebec Art Council. While walking a busy Mexican street,...
From the Story Circle to Cyberspace
How Technology Transforms the Stories We Tell and How Women Transform the Stories We HearA group of women sit on the floor on silk pillows amid colourful batiks. A woman in a sari lights a candle and says her name, her mother's name, and her maternal...
In My Voice
"Re-writing the script?"There is something deeply exposing about telling your story, a story that can speak to the hearts and minds of many. I felt that sense of exposure and vulnerability when sharing some of my life experiences and the life experiences...
Into, out of and Away
Into, Out of and AwayAn Artist Project/InstallationThe proposed artwork is an installation comprised of a video and sculptural installation of shalwars donated by various South Asian women. The project addresses the topic of place and displacement. Individuals...
Look out : Look Here
WEI Mag invited artist Dyan Marie to talk about Look Out : Look Here, a community-based art intervention project that acted as a memorial project for the death of Holly Jones and a community-building event for grieving local residents.LOOK OUT : LOOK...
Lying: A Play in Two Acts*
An interview with poet and creative non-fiction writer Betsy WarlandACT ONELatin jazz is playing on Betsy's stereo. I can hear it from the street as I ride my bike up to her open patio door. This is our second meeting and the first of two interviews...
On Your Mark, Get Set: Is the Government of Canada Ready to Take Action on CEDAW?
On Your Mark, Get Set: Is the Government of Canada Ready to Take Action on CEDAW?Sandra KerrOn May 17, 2006, during an event at Parliament Hill entitled, "25 Years: Ready Or Not?", the Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) called for action...
Performative Gender
Art, Activism and Community at La Centrale Galerie PowerhouseShe wears a surgical mask on a flight between the United States and Canada. Pacing up and down the aisles, she asks her fellow travelers - strangers - to videotape her performances in flight....
Performing Communities: Grassroots Ensemble Theaters Deeply Rooted in Eight U.S. Communities
PERFORMING COMMUNITIES: GRASSROOTS ENSEMBLE THEATERS DEEPLY ROOTED IN EIGHT U.S. COMMUNITIES Robert H. Leonard and Ann Kilkelly New Village Press. 2005 $19.95 USPerformance is intrinsically a highly political act. By putting images of human behaviour...
Radical Gestures: Feminism and Performance Art in North America
RADICAL GESTURES: FEMINISM AND PERFORMANCE ART IN NORTH AMERICA Jane Wark McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006 $32.95 CDN (paperback) $80.00 CDN (cloth cover)Jayne Wark's text Radical Gestures: Feminism and Performance Art in North America has brief...
Random Acts of Motherism
Using Self-Definition to Resist Dominant Discourse and Take Collective ActionIn this article, I will examine the utility of self-expression as a resistance to the dominant discourse that exists in Western society about motherhood. Three mothers spoke...
Remembering Ista
Becoming a Nuxalk WomanFrom the earliest explorers, academics, travellers, and colonial settlers, traditional research involving indigenous peoples has predominantly been from an outsider perspective. Indigenous peoples were not active, informed, and...
Reweaving a Life
Reweaving a LifeThe Art of the Women Weavers of Palm and their Struggle with Water, Poverty and PrideDaily, people interweave the strands of their lives. When people believe that a better life is possible, they are able to reweave the strands, altering...
Rivers of Change
Rivers of ChangeMonumental Cultural ExpressionsCreative cultural expression is among society's most powerful forces, inviting many attempts to control it-particularly in the realm of public spaces and community memorials. The degree of the threat can...
Running beyond the Group of Seven
In 2005, 29 art galleries and museums across Ontario held Group of Seventhemed exhibitions across the province to commemorate the group's first year of exhibiting together in 1920. The Cambridge Galleries took a somewhat different tactic from other galleries...
Stories from the Badlands
The creation of a multimedia performance about neighbourhood transformationThroughout the winter of 2006, I collaborated with two other young women to create a performance piece that critically examined attempts by a residents' association in the Bloor/Lansdowne...
Teatro Familias Unidas
Their backs to an audience of neighbours, a chorus line of young Mexican mothers begins to unfold their experience as new immigrants in California. One by one, they turn to tell their stories in Spanish:"I'm afraid to go out. I don't even know my neighbours....
The Beautiful Women Project
Art as Teaching and HealingPeople told Cheryl-Ann Webster that she could make a living as an artist, but if that meant making mugs and napkin rings, she was having none of it. For Webster, art has always been about social messages. Her creations are...
The Cutting Edge and the Corporate Agenda
The art world is cutting edge.Or so says the art world's ongoing advertising campaign. From gallery press releases to museum literature, art events and artists are promoted as avantgarde alternatives to the vapid and tired mainstream culture of mass...
The Lost Body
Recovering Memory: A Personal LegacyRelache.Never a kinder word was spoken when, in Hervé Maxi's Haitian dance class,[ held at Compangnie Danse Nyata Nyata, Montreal, Quebec ; ]after deep bends and ballet toes I was finally able to "Relache, two, three,...
The Tundra Needs the Snow
Common Plants and Connective AestheticsFor centuries, we have worshipped at the temple of the lone artist. Curators exalted him, launching his solo shows and reveling in his alluring singularity. The art market rewarded him, turning his creations into...
Transformation in Toronto
The Projects of Dyan MarieDyan Marie is a well-respected multimedia artist who is using art intervention to improve the environment in her Toronto neighbourhood, and give women le droit de la ville; the right to fully inhabit their community's public...
Transforming Indigenous Cultural Politics through Art and Dialogue in Rural and Remote Manitoba
In localized areas of Manitoba, there are Indigenous women artists that are moving beyond a counter-discourse, or resistance. They are in the state of "untested feasibility,"1 since they are working towards a dream, or a vision of socially-engaged art....
Transforming Our World through Song
The Power of Community ChoirsMany of us adults within mainstream North American culture hold a lot of broken-ness in our singing voices, underneath which is a great desire to sing. Music surrounds us, but most of us are only invited to consume music...
Transforming Space into Place
In the fall of 2004, York University's Faculty of Environmental Studies moved into the old business school digs, challenging the historical purpose of the building with a program that questions the increasingly corporatized environment and promotes environmental...
Transgressive Tools
The Liberating Power of ClassificationClassification is a defining force. It groups that which is defined as being alike and separates that which is perceived to be different. In so doing, it creates boundaries. The categories thus established build...
Wilderness Women in Black
In the early nineties, I read about women of opposing "sides" gathering together in public spaces, in the Middle East and in the former Yugoslavia, to express their dissidence against the violent military regimes of their respective countries. Dressed...
Wild Fire: Art as Activism
WILD FIRE: ART AS ACTIVISM Edited by Deborah Barndt Sumach Press, 2006 $26.95 CDNInspired by the success of several projects within York University's Masters in Environmental Studies program, Wild Fire: Art as Activism was born in the flames of activism...
Women Survivors of Violence
Re-Authoring Trauma Narratives through ClayWe are strong and fragile like the clay we work with. It soothes and calms us, connecting us with our creative passion, moving us forward in our lives. (Excerpt from collective statement, Metamorphosis, 2006...
You Pretend to Be a Canadian
Exploring the Work of Kinga Araya and Camille TurnerIn 1993, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, a Mexican/American performance artist, started La Pocha Nostra, a performance art and conceptual art laboratory. The goal of this artistic collective was to create a space...