Exploring Intersections and Cross-cultural Solidarities among Women Artists in Canada

sameena siddiqui Announcement
British Columbia, Canada
Subject Fields
Anthropology, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Canadian History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

UAAC Call For Papers

OCTOBER 15-17, 2020, Co-organized by SFU, UBC and the UAAC Board of Directors

Women's art associations and feminist art galleries such as the Women Artist's Association of Canada (WAAC), Women in Focus (Vancouver), or La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse (Montreal) are complex sites of Second-wave feminist movements in Canada that relied on conceptual frameworks of transnationalism and intersectionality. These frameworks emerged with phenomena of globalization and identity politics of the late 1980s, which became a source of strength for intellectual and community-building activities of marginalized groups such as women of color, queer, and Indigenous women. This panel will explore how these institutions brought together immigrant, indigenous, black, queer, and other women-identifying artists of color to collaborate in feminist projects. How did they disrupt conventional ideas of art "spaces," "location," essentialist definitions of "women," and the "multiculturalism" discourse of the nation-state? For the first time, these collaborations attempted to form transnational, intersectional, and coalitional politics within Canadian art institutions. However, there is evidence of lacuna despite the existence of transnational perspectives and cross-cultural solidarities in these art spaces. This panel invites a critical dialogue about the complex histories of feminisms in Canada, especially work that addresses methodological and epistemological challenges faced in hosting exhibitions that pushed further the above-mentioned frameworks. Questions to be probed include: What challenges did collaborators face across differing multi-ethnic, national, and socio-economic realities? Whose lived experiences were shared in discourses of solidarity, autonomy, decolonization, and land that spoke to issues of culture and gender? How did feminist artists represent the ideas of homeland, diaspora, hybridity, indigeneity, and multiple identities? And how did such conceptual and structural renegotiations resonate with audiences? 

Contact Information

Sameena Siddiqui- sameena42@hotmail.com & Alison Ariss- alison.ariss@alumni.ubc.ca

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