Artist: Zanele Muholi
Photography Project Title: Being
“A prominent activist in empowerment organisations, Zanele Muholi is concerned with the intimate portrayal of the lives of black lesbian women in South Africa.”
Being is an exploration of both our existence and our resistance as lesbians/women loving women, as black women living our intersecting identities in a country that claims equality for all within the LGBTI community, and beyond.
The work is aimed at erasing the very stigmatisation of our sexualities as ‘unAfrican’, even as our very existence disrupts dominant (hetero)sexualities, patriarchies and oppressions that were not of our own making. Since slavery and colonialism, images of us African women have been used to reproduce heterosexuality and white patriarchy, and these systems of power have so organised our everyday lives that it is difficult to visualise ourselves as we actually are in our respective communities. ”
PROMPTS – (these are not by any means guidelines, just ideas if you need some inspiration or are feeling stuck, if they lead to something drastically different, submit that too!)
Write about any sexual feeling you have had – lust, desire, etc… and where in your body you feel like it stems from – avoid clichés – when you feel pleasure of course it radiates from your pelvis, but do you feel an uplifting in your sternum? Does the top of your head tingle?
Your gender stories: Tell us how you identify and what gender means to you through art, photos, essays, etc.
Tell us a story about body image/ self-esteem/ self-love.
What is something you have felt ashamed of? Why do you think you felt that shame? Recall and write down the first time you felt it, try and trace down its origins in writing – what made you feel like you were doing something wrong or something that had to be kept secret? If you maintain this shame write how it effects your life now, and if not write about the moment you overcame it and the realization. Be reflective! This can be therapeutic! This is a chance to make other people feel more comfortable in their own skins, and to make other’s realize they are not alone!
Write about a fantasy versus your reality
Are you angry about something? Do you want the world to know about a political topic/campaign/policy? Write it down and tell us about it!
Have you ever felt angered by someone’s reaction to your sexuality? VENT! Write down your reasoning! This is your chance to make them aware, and help them understand!
Have you ever felt confined by your sexuality? Why? How? Imagine the moment that you break free and what it would be like?
Write specifically about the sexual environment of Skidmore, what it is like to be sexually active at Skidmore? to be of a “divergent” sexuality? to feel as though you do not fit within the institution’s sexual guidelines? Write editorially, satirically, confessionally, personally, comically.
What’s the best sexual experience you ever had? What’s the worst? Develop the context of the situation – characters, emotional background, setting – draw people into the story
HOW TO WRITE (once again, just suggestions)
Get graphic, if you want, or don’t – be subtle – both can be interesting, just go for it.
Write short sentences or very long, allow your sentences to communicate how you’re feeling in the moment you’re writing about.
Write in diary entries
Write a letter to someone else
Make metaphors – writing about sex or sexuality does not have to be described in literal sexual terms – does sex make you think of something else? Use that action or moment to describe sex or your sexuality Ex: a tennis match, a flower blooming (very cliché example)
Write instructions for someone else on how to do something sexual, or how live a certain lifestyle that you have experience with – Ex: ‘How to be a Lesbian at Skidmore, How to have a threesome with your two best friends’
Write “a day in the life of” Ex: “A Day In the Life of a Trans Man”
Write a conversation – via text, email, AIM or real dialogue that conveys something important – let the words speak for themselves
Don’t be afraid to be funny, sex is funny, people respond well to funny
Don’t be afraid of poetry – it doesn’t have to rhyme or be cliché – play with word choice, punctuation, alignment, and spacing. Make sure the words you use count because you will use less of them than you do in prose.
BE HONEST, especially if you’re submitting anonymously – what do you have to lose?
We want your paintings, sculptures (we can photograph), photographs, collages, contemporary pieces, comic strips, etc etc etc.
Her swelling lips; to which when we are come, We anchor there, and think ourselves at home, For they seem all: there sirens’ songs, and there Wise Delphic oracles do fill the ear; There in a creek where chosen pearls do swell, The remora, her cleaving tongue doth dwell. These, and the glorious promontory, her chin O’erpast; and the strait Hellespont between The Sestos and Abydos of her breasts, (Not of two lovers, but two loves the nests) Succeeds a boundless sea, but that thine eye Some island moles may scattered there descry; And sailing towards her India, in that way Shall at her fair Atlantic navel stay; Though thence the current be thy pilot made, Yet ere thou be where thou wouldst be embayed, Thou shalt upon another forest set, Where some do shipwreck, and no further get. When thou art there, consider what this chase Misspent by thy beginning at the face.
Keren Moscovitch’s Photographs of Intimate Moments
“Me Into You” is New York-based photographer Keren Moscovitch‘s self-published monograph chronicling her experiences in an open relationship. The work explores the possibilities and limitations of intimacy, investigating the dissolving lines between individual, couple, and community. A fearless reveal of her experiences, Moscovitch hopes to expose her audience to a broader definition of intimacy, and to new ways in which individuals and communities connect and experience sexuality.
Hello Readers! Bare is so happy to be back! We have our first weekly meeting in room LADD 307 at 8pm. Meetings will be held at 8 instead of 9 this semester so keep that in mind (For the rest of the semester we’ll be back in LADD 206 as usual)
We’re kicking off this week back at Skidmore with the amazing guest speaker Sarah Mirk, online editor for bitch magazine!
WORKSHOP (5:00pm in the ICC)
Speak Up, Make Change
Don’t hate media, make media. Bitch Media Online Editor Sarah Mirk will talk with students about doing politically engaged and human-focused journalism and how work with media to promote your own passions. Mirk will focus on her own experience as a writer and editor at newspapers and national magazines, as well as her work researching and writing a forthcoming feminist guidebook to relationships called Sex from Scratch: Making Your Own Relationship Rules.
LECTURE(8:00pm in FILENE Hall):
Mirk will walk students through five concrete ideas in current feminist media, illustrated these ideas by powerful art and activist projects groups have created in the United States in the past year. While there is lots of discussion about the death of journalism, this talk will show that journalism and feminist conversations these days are dynamic and very much alive.
DESCRIPTION OF BITCH:
Bitch is a national feminist response to pop culture magazine that has been publishing quarterly for 17 years. Online editor Sarah Mirk writes and edits daily articles for BitchMedia.org, hosts the magazine’s podcast Popaganda, and runs Bitch Media’s social media.