“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.”
Ursula K. Le Guin
The stage is set, the artists are ready, the stories are waiting to be told, and Nogojiwanong/Peterborough women are pumped.
The ‘Art of Resistance’ is this years’s theme for the International Women’s Day (IWD) community potluck and panel presentation, co-hosted annually by Kawartha World Issues Centre (KWIC) and Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre (KSAC) — an evening of great food, music, speakers, solidarity and celebration Thursday, March 8 at 5 p.m. at Seeds of Change (Emmanuel East United Church, corner of George and McDonnel Streets)
“I’m excited for the panel this year, and the theme of the Art of Resistance really resonates with everything that has been going on all over the world this past year,” said Faith Mwesigye, an international Trent University student from Uganda, volunteer with KWIC and member of the evening’s programming committee. “I can’t wait to hear our amazing panelists share their thoughts on these issues.”
“Last year was my first year attending it and it was quite the diverse and welcoming experience,” she continued, “with the delicious community potluck, and the amazing and inspiring knowledge that the women on the panel were sharing. It was truly a fun, positive and empowering evening.”
Lisa Clarke, community engagement manager at KSAC, said the IWD committee had the opportunity to partner with a symposium and four-day workshop Manifesting Resistance: Conversations about Intergenerational Memory Work across ‘the Americas.’, organized by Trent University’s Aging Activisms and being held the same week as IWD.
“We saw it as an opportunity to hear from two Black women artists from the Black Lives Matter movement in New York. We know, as a Centre, survivors of multiple forms of oppression are brought together through creativity, art and voice. Art is an incredibly powerful medium for social justice work,” said Clarke.
“So often in our main stream culture, voices are silenced by the system and institutions, but through art, you can develop a voice in different ways — visual, spoken word, music — and that bridge for survivors’ voices is accessible and empowering,” she said.
“As humans we are drawn to creative expression. Sometimes the general pubic can’t ‘hear’ survivors’ words. By building emotional connections, and empathy through art, survivors’ experiences can be better heard,” Clarke said.
Deb Reynolds agrees. She’s a local artist and a founder of Creating Space Peterborough, a community arts studio. She, and other members of the studio, will be presenting pop-up art at the IWD event.
“I think art as resistance is a way to give us power and voice in a way that isn’t expressed in the media of tv and pop culture,” said Reynolds. “It’s a vehicle to be heard, particularly for marginalized voices who have been oppressed, to speak and be heard in a way that is not represented through traditional means.”