Wilderness Women in Black

By Fabb, Jeane | Women & Environments International Magazine, Fall 2006 | Go to article overview

Wilderness Women in Black


Fabb, Jeane, Women & Environments International Magazine


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 in black at weekly vigils held in silence, they made their presence known and their protest visible. The women were part of a growing worldwide antiwar movement called Women in Black.1 Struck by their courage and the symbolic power of their gesture, I was inspired to make a related action in the context of the region where I live, Québec's boreal forest. Here, the war is against the land: the extraction of natural resources and the unbridled development of tourism has scarred and irreparably altered thousands of square kilometers of landscape. Here, the land is generally perceived as male-space: the voices publicly heard are those of forestry companies, loggers, hunters, fishermen, developers, and politicians. The Wilderness Women in Black art-actions are meant to give voice to other ways of perceiving our relationship to the land. They are gestures created in counterbalance to the dynamic of destructive industrial entrancement.

In the winter of 1995, Wilderness Women in Black was initiated on the banks of the Rouge River, a major artery in the Upper Laurentians, north of Montreal, used by lumber companies in the nineteenth century to float timber southward to the wood-mills. On the shore, a long black table was laid with upturned roots, and with bowls containing wood ashes. A small group of women from the community, and from Montreal and Toronto, were invited to participate. When gathered, we focused on our concerns about the environment and exchanged information about the story of the Rouge. In preparation for this art-action, I asked the women to feel the connection of their body with the land, to slowly open to the underlying energy of this particular place, and to respond silently in whatever manner they felt. In the cold wind, we moved over the snow as in a trance, back and forth between the river and the table. At one point, I was impelled to take the roots off the table and give them to the women. Without words, we each placed the roots on our bellies.2

Within each art-action, the interaction between the site and the women produced a unique dynamic. Underneath the gigantic energy transport lines that cut a 1000-kilometer corridor through the Laurentian forest from James Bay to Montreal, the women reacted intensely to the electromagnetic field emanating from the suspended electrical cables. Some women just froze, others crumbled to the ground. One woman stood arched backwards shaking a caribou antler at the hissing lines. Another art-action took place between the straight rows of a pine plantation. For five days, another woman and I moved up and down the alleys of this monoculture forest. The lack of plant and animal diversity was numbing. Unlike moving through a natural forest, every step was predictable, stage-like.

Specific places seemed to call for concern and attention. There is a huge open gravel pit on the side of the road between my village and the next. When some women of a local theatre troupe offered to participate in an art-action, I brought them to the pit. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Wilderness Women in Black
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.