CFP: Session 'Feminist Visual Activism for Reproductive Rights' at CAA (New York, 15-18 Feb 23)

Basia Sliwinska's picture
Call for Papers
August 31, 2022
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Fine Arts, Human Rights, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Freedom to make choices about one’s body, the fundamental Human and Constitutional right to autonomy, is continuously abused by multiple governments worldwide. Visions offered by the rising nationalist, fascist and racist politics across the globe are founded on anti-democratic separatist discourses prioritising some bodies over others. Eroding rights to equality, privacy and bodily integrity gains fresh urgency in the context of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine that generated a reproductive health crisis for millions.

Feminist care is instrumental for democracy, social justice, and articulating alternative ways for organising collectivities. Several global activist and consciousness raising interventionist manifestations visibilise relationships between artistic practice, women’s protests and feminist visual activism. Everyday activities and creative practices develop methods, strategies, tactics and methodologies to advocate for change and galvanise the public via collective actions that increasingly engage with embodiments of the visual. Some visual activist actions explicitly address women’s reproductive rights restricted in countries in which gender norms are based on heteronormative and patriarchal structures denying gender equality and undermining gender progressive politics.

This session seeks to interrogate how contemporary feminist visual activist practice enables the United Nations’ and European Union’s values and goals concerning gender equality and women’s rights to be achieved. Feminist visual activism cultivates forms of creativity that emerge from performative and ethical orientations, welcoming practices of ontological re-viewing and re-doing otherwise for social justice. The session invites contributions engaging with visual practices advocating a politics of change to explore visual strategies of consciousness raising concerning women’s rights, specifically bodily autonomy.


Please submit a short CV (2 pages) and a completed proposal form (available to download at: ), including an abstract of around 250 words to All participants are required to be members of the College Art Association at the time of final submission of accepted papers and during the conference period. Please also note that the session will be an in-person session.

Contact Info: 

Basia Sliwinska: 

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