Archive for shireensaxena

The Arts Effect & Feminist Press present 2 SPECIAL PERFORMANCES! SLUT The play


Join us and celebrate the release of…
Coming soon from The Feminist Press (on sale 2/10).  
Pre-order today!
“SLUT is truthful, raw and immediate! 
Experience this play and witness what American young women live with everyday.”
*Q&A following both performances*
Tishman Auditorium
The New School
63 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10003
Tickets FREE for middle & high school students!
$7 for college students
$20 for adults
SLUT follows the journey of 16-year-old Joanna Grace Del Marco, who is raped by three friends during a night out in NYC. Through Joey’s story and those in her community, audiences witness the damaging impact of slut culture and the importance of being heard.
Written by Katie Cappiello
Directed by Katie Cappiello & Meg McInerney
Featuring the award-winning Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company
“Powerhouse script!” – TIMEOUT NY   “Engrossing drama!”  – NEW YORK MAG
For more information, to request a copy for review, or arrange a media
appearance please contact:
SLUT: The Play is a part of StopSlut, a youth-led movement to end slutshaming and transform rape culture. More info about SLUT: The Play and the book, visit:
Join the conversation #stopslut and follow us @stopslut
Contact Taryn Mann for group packages:

2015 New Masculinities Festival: Call for Proposals

Man Question is seeking proposals for performance pieces for our third New Masculinities Festival! This exciting event will take place in New York City on Saturday, May 9–exact time and place to be announced.

We are seeking performances of all kinds that passionately and curiously investigate the question, “how do you stay human in the face of masculinity?”

Successful performance proposals explore how expectations of masculinity impact people’s lives, both positively and negatively, in overt and in unexpected ways.  Pieces in the festival also experiment with how to create less scripted, more intimate, and more fun lives and communities.

Check out our online submission form and begin your proposal now!

We seek pieces that have the potential to perturb the viewer to see the world in a new way.  We ask applicants to have a clear vision for their piece and background in performance that they need to bring the piece to life. We also warmly invite you to contact us to discuss your ideas.  Pieces in all genres of performance are accepted and encouraged!

Submit your proposal now and breathe new life into what it means to be a man!.

Proposals Due: SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2015


Women’s Empowerment Group Every Wednesday beginning Feb. 4, 2015 RSVP Today!

Intimate partner violence can make women feel isolated, trapped and misinformed about their experience. An empowerment group can:

  • Provide a “safe refuge” for women 
  • Provide a space to process experiences for clearer insight
  • Provide knowledge of survivors’ rights and resources
  • Begin the process of safety planning
  • Learn the importance of self-care, and strategies and techniques to begin the healing process


RSVP Required

**Light refreshments and free Metrocards will be provided to participants only**

For more information contact Sharene Roig 
or via email at




Feb. 4, 2015

Feb. 11, 2015

Feb. 18, 2015

Feb. 25, 2015

Mar. 4, 2015

Mar. 11, 2015

11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 



127 W. 127th Street, Ste. 432

New York, NY 10027


RSVP Required

**Light refreshments and free Metrocards will be provided for participants only**


BRIGHT HALF LIFE by Tanya Barfield and directed by Tony-nominee Leigh Silverman, produced by Women’s Project Theater

BRIGHT HALF LIFE by Tanya Barfield and directed by Tony-nominee Leigh Silverman, produced by Women’s Project Theater.  


“Barfield is unfailingly thought-provoking.”  – The Los Angeles Times


The award-winning Women’s Project Theater, the nation’s oldest and largest company dedicated to producing plays written and directed by women, invites you to experienceBRIGHT HALF LIFE. This production will run February 17th – March 22nd at New York City Center, Stage II.

Erica meets Vicki.  Vicki marries Erica.  Lives collide.  Rewind.  Pause.  Fast forward. A kaleidoscopic new play about love, skydiving, and the infinite moments that make a life together.

BRIGHT HALF LIFE  is a fabulous opportunity for Paradigm Shift NYC. BRIGHT HALF LIFE is the beautiful story of a life shared between two women, imagined in a whirlwind of memories, events, and love.


WP has a special group rate of $25 per ticket, a savings of nearly 60%*!  You can order your group tickets by calling WP at 212.765.1706.

You can also find more details on our websites:

Tickets available from $25*+
*For group (of 9+) tickets at $25/ person, use code: 14458
*For individual tickets, you can use code: 14068 for tickets $39.50 per person.
*Regular price $60.

Artistic Uprising: February 7 in NYC

Artistic Uprising: February 7 in NYC

Mark your calendars, the REVOLUTION is coming to NYC!

In the tradition of our 2001 V-Day event at Madison Square Garden and our 2008 ten year anniversary event at the Louisiana Superdome, V-Day/One Billion Rising is once again pushing the edge in a one-night-only event at the Hammerstein Ballroom, that will bring together revolutionary poets, singers, dancers and activists! Look Who’s Artistic upRISING: ARTISTS & ACTIVISTS BIOS! >

Saturday, 7 February, 7PM, HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM, NYC

A Revolutionary evening of Performance & Slam Poetry, DANCING, Music, & Activist Inspiration:

& MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED*  subject to change

Come dressed as your revolutionary self!  On this night, with *this event, we will ignite the revolution that will last for years to come.  Join us as we usher in this year of risings across the world!

Buy tickets here

CONNECT Women | Upcoming events and trainings!

When we women offer our experience as our truth, all the maps change.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

CONNECT Women upcoming events. 

Join us!
Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Join the CONNECT Women’s Circle in February as we discuss emotional abuse – one of the most common, overlooked, minimized and dismissed forms of domestic and intimate partner violence.

Click here to RSVP

Feb. 4 – Mar. 11, 2015
(To meet every Wednesday)
11:15a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

This Support Group will provide a safe space for women to come together to process their experiences, learn about rights and resources and self-care strategies.

Click here to RSVP

Women’s Empowerment Training Snapshot: Women’s Experience
Thursday, Feb.  12, 2015
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Join us for a one-day workshop that offers tools needed to facilitate support groups with survivors and victims of intimate partner violence. This course is a shorter version of our Women’s Empowerment course.
ONNECT Women celebrates the power, wisdom, and resilience of women. We offer transformative education, support, and space for women to gather, share experiences, and think critically and creatively about what it means to be women living in a culture where violence against women is the norm. All 
CONNECT Women programming is trauma- informed and explores the ways gender, race, class and sexuality shape our responses to Intimate violence.
For more information contact us:

2/27-2/28 Scholar & Feminist Conference: Action on Education

. Scholar & Feminist Conference: Action on Education
Friday, February 27 – Saturday, February 28, 2015
 . Che Gossett — Love and Flames: Legacies of Black Queer & Prison Abolitionist Solidarity w/ Palestinian Struggle
Wednesday, February 11, 12 PM
 . Body Undone: A Salon in Honor of Christina Crosby
Tuesday, March 10, 6:30 PM
 . Without Cover of the Law: Writing the History of Enslaved Women
Tuesday, March 24, 6:30 PM
 . Jamaica Kincaid and Tiphanie Yanique – Caribbean Feminisms on the Page
Thursday, April 16, 6:30 PM
 . Rachel Eisendrath – A History of the Ugly
Thursday, April 23, 12 PM
 . Why Sex? Why Gender?: Activist Research for the 21st Century
Friday, May 1, 10 AM – 6:30 PM

Subject: Spring Semester at BCRW
From: Barnard Center for Research on Women <
BCRW invites you to join us this spring as we celebrate the 15-year tenure of Janet Jakobsen as the Center’s Director. As always, we have an engaging slate of events, including our 40th annual Scholar & Feminist conference, a two day event engaging feminist frameworks on education. This semester will also feature panels, lectures, and salons that take up take up issues of disability and chronic pain, queer solidarity with the Palestinian struggle, the history of ‘the ugly,’ Caribbean literary traditions, and the history of enslaved women. Our spring events will conclude with a symposium on activist research for social justice in honor of Janet Jakobsen’s triumphant leadership of BCRW.

You can keep track of all the latest at our website, which includes event videos, educational resources, publications, podcasts, and other materials.

Martynka Wawrzyniak at Envoy Enterprises: The Consumptive Gaze — Heather Saunders

Martynka Wawrzyniak at Envoy Enterprises: The Consumptive Gaze


Well before literature popularized the approach of doing something radical for a year (living Biblically, cooking Julia Child’s recipes, etc.), there was Taiwanese, New York-based performance artist, Tehching Hsieh. In the 1970s and 1980s, he made five one-year performances, such as being tied to another artist with an 8-foot rope but never touching. An excerpt from the statement for his inaugural performance, in which he went into solitary confinement in a small room for twelve months, reads, “I shall have food every day.”


Fast forward to 2013, when Martynka Wawrzyniak began recording what she ate every day for a year. Wawrzyniak, who was born the year Hsieh’s first year-long performance wrapped up, is a New York-based Polish artist represented by Envoy Enterprises. In Feed (September 7–October 12), her fourth solo exhibition at the Lower East Side gallery in New York, she exhibited the documentation of her diet.


The burden of conceptual art is that it begs the question, “Is this art?” For instance, if I weren’t an artist, I might protest that I once recorded what I ate for a year to pin down food allergies, while an artist friend keeps similar records to ensure she allows three days between consuming the same ingredient, to keep old food intolerances at bay. The difference is that for Wawrzyniak, food is fodder for art:  installation, sculpture, two-dimensional work, and a bookwork comprised the show. The latter, displayed at the entrance of the gallery, contained photographs of the white cloth napkins she used to wipe her mouth after each dinner, paired with a list of ingredients. I actually wretched when I read in the press release that it was billed as an unconventional cookbook. However, displayed as it was—open to a random page—it read more as neutral, innocuous photographic documentation of the napkins that were stitched into an installation nearby. The cloth gloves beside the book acted as a link to archives and in turn, the documentary impulse. The dinner napkins, save for their stains, are identical, meaning that the artist used them rather than restaurant linens when she ate out. Granted, archiving in the traditional sense (where materials accumulate organically from actual use, as opposed to a collection being created purposefully) would have involved stealing napkins and contending with mismatched linens. Ultimately, it means that form was privileged over authenticity, throwing a wrench in the project of documentation. At the same time, Wawrzyniak tapped into the au courant tendency to post culinary images on social media, which is all about contrivance…and oversharing.


There was a definite push/pull experience in the show. The aforementioned napkins, which were stitched together and hung floor to ceiling in a spiral formation, are white—as are the framed paper napkins used to wipe her mouth after ingesting a daily green energy drink. Both arguably symbolize cleanliness or purity in Western culture. Yet the paper napkins hung in calendar formation—doubling as a modernist grid—resemble toilet paper, with their mossy green smears  marking a point in the digestive process. The hanging napkins, meanwhile, are somewhat free-flowing and the breeze of passersby could probably make what amounts to dirty laundry come uncomfortably close to the viewer.


I’m unsure whether I was supposed to walk through the spiral, but there was no sign of gallery staff to advise. It made for a surreal experience, as if I were intruding in someone’s personal experience. Evidently, the experience was intended to be social, as the artist describes her sharing of this body of work as functioning like a daily dinner party. The smears repelled more than enticed, though, compromising the reciprocation of enthusiasm. There was also no hint of the social experience at the time any of these meals were eaten. There was no indication of whether these meals were consumed alone, on dates, with friends, or at a rapid clip after feeding offspring. I did not perceive the frenzy of, say, artist Mary Kelly trying to make sense of parenting as she documented the development of her son, complete with stained nappies as art-artifacts. Food can be a deeply personal experience (or the expression ‘you are what you eat’ wouldn’t exist, nor would Margaret Atwood’s 1969 novel about food aversion, The Edible Woman) but the motivation for Wawrzyniak’s year-long endeavour remains elusive.


Where the personal did seem to creep in was in the two sculptures. Casts of the inside of her mouth and the outside of her abdomen in edible materials relate conceptually to her previous exhibition, Smell Me (2012), which culminated in the recent marketing of perfume of her own scent with nude advertising in Harper’s Bazaar. However, the sculptures don’t actually look good enough to eat, which, for me personally, shut down the consumptive gaze. I find myself wondering where they take the viewer that artists like Janine Antoni and Hannah Wilke haven’t already taken them with their chocolate busts of women. And where does Feed take the viewer overall that Tehching Hsieh didn’t already take them conceptually with a single line of text?


For images, please see

FEMINIST FILM FESTIVAL Sept 26-Oct 24 Five Fridays in the Fall


Joy of Resistance is thrilled to announce that we will be presenting the FIRST EVER Feminist Film Festival at WBAI! It will take place on five consecutive Fridays this Fall, starting on September 26 and running through October 24 (Sept. 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24).

We’ll present “feminist classics”–the defining feminist films of many eras–and some of the directors will be present in person or via Skype. We’ll also show rare documentary shorts, feminist comedy, and have some live performance.

Showings will take place at “The Commons,” at 388 Atlantic Avenue.

Doors will open at 6:00 PM for short films, with main features starting at 7:30 PM.

This is a benefit for WBAI: Suggested donation is $20, but a sliding scale of $10-20. will be in effect. Wine and popcorn will be available.

If you sign up to become a WBAI Buddy, between now and September 24, we’ll give you a free pass to all five evenings of the festival. Your name will be at the door. Sign up at:

For further information and to get emails about the specific films to be shown on each night of the festival, email or go to

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE (check back for newly added releases):

Sept. 26, Jennifer Lee’s 2013 release “Feminist Stories from Women’s Liberation” ( , getting rave reviews as it is shown across the country, with the Director to speak to us via Skype. Includes Betty Friedan’s last interview, the “Women of the World Unite” banner being placed on the Statue of Liberty in 1970, SNCC & feminism and much more. Followed by Bev Grant’s ‘Up Against the Wall, Miss America!’ (, documentary short of the Miss America Pageant Protest of 1968 (where women are rumored to have burnt their bras!). Bev Grant will join us in person to discuss the film.

October 3. “With a Vengeance: The Fight for Reproductive Freedom” by Lori Hiris (1989)–a gutsy fast-moving film influenced by 60’s Avant-Garde cinema (Emile D’Antonio), shows history of abortion in this country, jump-cutting between movement pioneers, clashes with the Right, an early meeting of Black women formulating what would become “the reproductive justice movement” and much more. Cameo appearance by the great Flo Kennedy. “I Had an Abortion” ( by Jennifer Baumgardner and Jillian Aldrich. From a “celebrity feminist” to an 85 yr. old Harlem woman who tells what it was like in the 1930’s, women of many ages and communities tell their personal stories about abortion.

October 10th. An evening in Celebration of Indigenous People’s/Columbus Day. We’ll present “Salt of the Earth” (1954) ( a feature-length movie that was banned by the House-of Un-American-Activities Committee, about a strike by Mexican workers–within which women rebel against their husbands to participate in the strike. Then “La Operacion” ( by Ana Maria Garcia–the documentary that broke open the scandal that a third of Puerto Rican women had been sterilized in the 1950s/60’s because of U.S. population control policies. Films will be followed a LIVE PERFORMANCE by the Indigenous Women’s singing/spoken word group Mahina Movement! ( (Plus films TBA.)

October 17: Lizzie Borden’s cult classic “Born in Flames”( A sci-fi journey into a post-revolutionary New York City where a Women’s Army, led by Black women, has formed to fully bring women into the revolution. With Flo Kennedy in a featured role! Must see!

October 24: Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker, ( Joanne Grant’s brilliant film on the not-well-enough-known woman behind many of the great campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Features Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Ella’s Song.” Sweet Honey in the Rock/Raise Your Voice! ( Stanley Nelson’s award winning exploration of the world-acclaimed a capella singing goup will have you singing as you leave. (Plus films TBA.)

All screenings will take place at at 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, 1st Floor (between Hoyt and Bond streets–A, C or G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn/#2 or 3 to Hoyt Street).

Book Review: Box Girl by Lillibet Snellings — by Heather Saunders

Book Review: Box Girl by Lillibet Snellings

Lillibet Snellings once had a job as unique as her name: for three years in a West Hollywood hotel lobby, she was one of the scantily clad women who lounged in a transparent box for four to seven hours as eye candy. ‘Lounge’ is actually misleading, since all the positions caused discomfort (she provides a hilarious description of the many options, such as the Nutcracker, which was devised to mask the fact that she was menstruating). The project, which began in 1998, is billed as an art installation, and within the box, the Box Girl is surrounded by installations that change monthly, such as pesky paper airplanes that fly into her face, thanks to a fan.


Snellings recounts her experiences in Box Girl: My Part-time Job as an Art Installation (2014, Soft Skull Press). Some chapters are as short as a single sentence, and they appear out of chronological order, making it what she calls a hybrid of sorts. Her interview for the Standard Hotel, for instance, occurs half-way through the book. She makes quite a few diversions from the act of being in the box, and though it seems like stream of consciousness, she consistently brings the content back to being a girl on display.


People’s reactions run the gamut, but the most startling to the author is a man asking if she is for sale. Experiences like these lead to feminist commentary broaching serious subject matter—such as comparisons to Hooters, a Playboy Club, and Amsterdam’s Red Light District—but never at the expense of her lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek writing style. When she inquires about the background of the box, she learns that it is a man who is responsible for the Standard Hotel’s design concepts. She quips, “Of course he is a man. This manufactured reality could only be hatched from the head of a man. Men like to think that women lie around on their living room floors wearing itty-bitty white shorts and tiny white tank tops, always looking pretty, never making a mess” (p. 81). That is the extent of the rant. Her biography brings the theory of art historian/author John Berger to life without dwelling on theory, which makes the book great leisure reading. Although she touches on feminism throughout, she doesn’t take a firm stand. To her question, “Am I a piece of art or a piece of ass?” (p. 220), she concludes maybe neither, or maybe both. What matters to her is that she feels empowered.


In this coming of age tale, Snellings describes her transition from English graduate to the real world, cobbling together internships and freelancing in her field with a variety of LA-type jobs like part-time model and actor. Even though she moved across the country from Connecticut with friends and is essentially on her own, her attachment to her family is undeniable. Her parents, who are bewildered by her hotel gig, are polar opposites and even when she writes about them with frustration, her underlying love is clear.


In spite of brushes with fame that come with the territory, Snellings’ focus is on her many foibles. She writes with the flare of Helen Fielding, she of Bridget Jones fame, though with more introspection. From crying in the box on Valentine’s Day, to getting an asymmetrical mullet in a hair show, to having a photo of herself rejected from a magazine featuring a spread on ‘real people,’ she channels Jones’ goofiness and bad luck. Also reminiscent of Fielding’s protagonist is her  love of wine and her obsession with her weight (case in point: she beams when an onlooker questions whether or not she is real, since mannequins do not have cellulite). Snellings’ self-deprecation would be more convincing if her bio photo didn’t reveal that by all accounts, she is beautiful. To her credit, Snellings reveals that it’s all relative, living as she does in the capital of models and celebrities.


Interspersed with the ‘OMG, I can’t believe this is my life’ track are astute observations about culture. For instance, Snellings draws parallels between the voyeurism and artifice of the Box Girls and 2.0 culture. And the few art references she includes are spot on, like connecting Manet’s Olympia to the fact that eye contact is verboten for Box Girls, or seeing Box Girls as performance artists in the spirit of Marina Abramovic. There are witticisms throughout, but blink and you could miss them, because she doesn’t draw them out, instead maximizing punchiness. I can’t shake the feeling that the sparing revelation of her intellect combined with her comical self-deprecation reflects the message women have been given historically: that they shouldn’t appear too smart. Nonetheless, Box Girl: My Part-time Job as an Art Installation is highly recommended.



Cover courtesy of Soft Skull Press.








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