ONCA’s exhibition for this year’s International Women’s Day featuring work by Maya Armon & Subira Wahogo | 6 – 17 March 2019
March 8th, 2019 marks the 110th anniversary of the 1909 National Women’s Day which was organised by the Socialist Party of America. Since then, the annual event, now formally recognised as International Women’s Day, has been used as an opportunity for people all over the world to celebrate women and to protest against misogyny. Today, the feminist movement has become highly present in popular culture and the concept of intersectionality has emerged as a defining element of contemporary feminism. However, within the movement, the domination of white, western and neoliberal feminist perspectives is an ongoing issue that has often manifested in the othering or appropriation of the experiences of people of colour.
“…the message that acknowledgment and exploration of racial difference can be pleasurable represents a breakthrough, a challenge to white supremacy, to various systems of domination. The overriding fear is that cultural, ethnic, and racial differences will be continually commodified and offered up as new dishes to enhance the white palate – that the Other will be eaten, consumed, and forgotten.”
– bell hooks, Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance
This International Women’s Day, ONCA are proud to collaborate with artists Maya Armon and Subira Wahogo to host Desire & Resistance, a two-week long exhibition that centres the experiences of women and non-binary people of colour. Curated by visual activist and fugitive feminist Susuana Amoah, this exhibition invites audiences to explore politics of desire and resistance within an imperialist, capitalist, white supremacist patriarchy.
As well as creating a space to examine the combined impact of sexism, racism and neocolonialism, the various works included aim to encourage audiences to engage with past and current narratives from women and non-binary people of colour in order to imagine decolonial strategies for gender liberation.
“A big part of this discourse is privilege and intersectionality. I examine this when I often break down feminism and discuss “white feminism” in my films. I realise that I am in a lucky position to discuss these topics. I am Asian with white skin. This makes me privileged. Why? Because the colour of your skin (and gender) determines how many hurdles you must face in life. I do not experience racism and sexism the way my mother, other family members and friends do. I can see and hear what they go through, but I must also remember that I will never fully understand it. Working with film has opened my eyes to more ways of handling this topic in this day and age. For example, I can capture the exact emotions WOC have towards feminism, or use endless archival footage to prove current theories. It is a great way to document the nonstop change in feminism and this world.”
– Maya Armon
- 1 March – Eating the Other: Poetry Workshop with Subira Wahogo
- 6 March – Desire & Resistance: Launch Event
- 9 March – Coffee & Cream: Poetry Workshop & Brunch #1
- 16 March – Coffee & Cream: Poetry Workshop & Brunch #2
- 17 March – Coffee and Cream: Interactive Poetry Performance
NOTES TO EDITORS
‘Person of Colour’ or POC is a term used to describe a person who is not white or of European heritage.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Maya is a filmmaker and recent fine art graduate. Her work explores how to confront institutionalised racism and sexism. Throughout her practice Maya has been focusing particularly on feminism for women of colour. Her work is primarily based in film, creating a variety of documentaries, visual essays and experimental short films in order to discuss her opinions of this constantly changing discourse.
Subira is a defiantly queer, unapologetically Black spoken word poet and activist. Their work weaves together the personal and political, through experiences and imaginations, spoken with rage, softness and laughter. Subira is the winner of ONCA’s 2018 Green Curtain Award and our Poet in Residence this March. As part of this exhibition they will be leading a series of workshops, creating an interactive installation in the gallery and performing their spoken word piece ‘Coffee and Cream’ which will be filmed in front of a live audience.
ONCA supports the wellbeing of people and places by increasing awareness of, and engagement with, environmental and social challenges. We are a space for meeting, thinking, learning and celebrating art, always encouraging artists and audiences to ask big questions about difficult issues. We do all this from our gallery and seaside learning space in Brighton, UK, where we host a range of events – some led and curated by us, and some by visiting artists and companies who hire our venues. Upstairs at ONCA we also run workspaces for artists, charities and businesses.
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