culture

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Call for Submissions - Body Culture: Image, Appearance, Personhood

This call for work from Paradigm Shift deals with body image in the media and cultural terms. -arvan

Call for guest blog, video, and graphic art submissions in preparation for Paradigm Shift’s next event:

BODY TYPED short films on perfection

Screening & Discussion Featuring

JESSE EPSTEIN, Sundance award-winning Filmmaker

BODY TYPED is a series of short films about body image, media, and cultural identity that will be combined to make a feature documentary. The films use humor to raise serious concerns about the marketplace of commercial illusion and unrealizable standards of physical perfection.

WET DREAMS AND FALSE IMAGES
When Dee-Dee the barber learns about the art of photo-retouching, he may never look at his “wall of beauty” the same way again.
Short Subject Jury Award, 2004 Sundance Film Festival

THE GUARANTEE
A dancer’s hilarious story about his prominent nose and the effect if has on his career.
Best Short Film, 2007 Newport International Film Festival

34×25×36
A look at mannequins, religion, and perfection.
SXSW, Full Frame, True/False, National PBS Broadcast on POV

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18th at 6:30 pm
Just outside the Feminist District

The Tank- 354 West 45th Street (between 8th & 9th Ave.)
Subway: A,C,E to 42nd Street/Times Square

Cost: $12 students/ pre-paid, $15 at door
BUY TICKETS NOW- LIMITED SEATING:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/117245

Facebook invite: http://bit.ly/cofvXX

Submission Deadline- August 22
Use these prompts as guidelines for submissions; essays, poetry, and artwork in all forms accepted:

- the effect of stereotypes on bodies

- body image and health

- expectations that friends and family have of our bodies

- how appearances intersect with gender and sexuality

- the portrayal of bodies in the media

- body empowerment

- social acceptance versus personal acceptance

Submit responses to blog@paradigmshiftnyc.com Please include how you would like to be credited (name, anonymous etc). Video submissions- please submit YouTube private link. Email subject line: Your Name- Blog post- 3/30 Event.

ParadigmShiftNYC.com content is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

arvan's picture

Review of intersex film "XXY" and lecture "X's & Y's" at SAIC

I recently attended two events at The School of the Art Institute, both focused on intersex persons.  The first evening was a film, followed by a lecture presentation the next night. 

  XXY (2007), Directed by Lucía Puenzo and starring Ines Ephron as Alex. 

This film is extremely powerful as a direct result of simply being honest and unflinching.  It is the story of adolescence, of family, of honesty and the differences in how people deal with bullying.

In summary, the film centers on Alex - a 15 year-old intersex child, who has identified as a female.  She and her family live on the Ecuadorian seashore.  Her father is a biologist, rescuing endangered and wounded sea creatures.  One of the principal themes of the film is the presence of so many life forms.  Throughout human history, shore dwellers have encountered new creatures both living and dead, where the land meets the deep unknown. 

Alex's mother, Suli invites a surgeon, Ramiro, his wife Erika and their son Alvaro for a visit.  Suli has not told her husband Kraken that Ramiro is here to observe Alex.  He specializes in genital alteration surgery on intersex children.  It seems as if the two women might be friends of some sort and they are accompanied by their teen son.  She is interested in turning Alex into the daughter she wants to have.  Alex has been taking hormones to suppress the development of male puberty body changes.  Alex has stopped taking them.

arvan's picture

Muslim Conservatives Blocking New Family Law in Mali

By Soumaïla T. Diarra

BAMAKO, May 19, 2010 (IPS) - A new family law has raised tension in Mali. This controversial law, intended to give greater freedoms and rights to women, has been sent back to the National Assembly for a second reading after protests from Muslim radicals.

These Muslim are threatening to make the country ungovernable if the law is enacted in its original form as voted by Parliament in August 2009.

"Those who oppose the new family law have started threatening legislators, railing against them in sermons and organising protest meetings. They're also using newspapers and radio since they learned that the law is on the agenda of the current parliamentary session," Salimata Kouyaté told IPS. Kouyaté is an activist with the Malian Network of NGOs and Women's Associations.

The next full session of parliament is scheduled to begin on May 20, but for now there is no confirmation when the legislation will be reviewed and put to a vote.

arvan's picture

Women Intensify Push to Pass Law Against Acid Attacks in Pakistan

By Zofeen Ebrahim

KARACHI, Pakistan, May 31, 2010 (IPS) - Almost seven years after Naila Farhat, 20, became another victim of an acid throwing attack by a spurned suitor, she is finally seeing more vigorous efforts toward the passage of a law seeking to amend existing legislation to reinforce protection of women against violent assaults.

Farhat is the first to admit, though, that beneath her physical scars is a smoldering anger that refuses to be pacified until she has exacted vengeance against her violators.

"I want him to be doused in acid so he can feel not just the searing pain but live with disfigurement day after day, for the rest of his life," she said of her main assailant over telephone from Layyah, a town in the southern part of Punjab province.

Yasmeen Rehman, advisor to the prime minister on women’s development and a legislator, told IPS that the Ministry of Women Development (MoWD) was doing further research on a draft law against acid attacks.

"It is seeking help from the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women, she said.

The ASF, in turn, is getting assistance from its parent organisation in Britain and Cornell Law School in the United States, said Sana Masood, a lawyer working with the Foundation, which provides medical, psychosocial, socioeconomic and legal aid to acid survivors. "We are currently involved in extensive research to help the MoWD in coming up with another bill," she revealed

"Realistically speaking, I should say we will be able to present it in the (legislative) assembly by July," said Rehman

In November 2009, six years after Farhat filed a case against her perpetrators – a tailor and her elementary science teacher, who acted as an accomplice – Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhary urged the government to pass a new law that would restrict the sale of industrial strength acid and increase the punishment for acid attacks.

This came with his landmark verdict upholding the original lower court ruling sentencing Farhat’s violators to 12 years in prison and ordering them to pay 1.25 million rupees (about 14,775 dollars) in damages.

Sarraltmuslimah's picture

There are Just no Good Muslim Women Out There



I shouldn’t take this any further. Apart from not being true, it’s a diatribe that obfuscates something deeper (just as the parallel, but unnervingly more standard retreat, "Where are all the good Muslim men?" does). The degree of intelligent, sincere, socially conscious, and admirable Muslim women I meet is staggering, many of whom in a previous life I wouldn’t have hesitated asking out to dinner to get to know better. Yet, I find myself simply put off by Muslim women.

I need to be honest; it isn’t just Muslim women, but the whole relationship process in Muslim communities that utterly perplexes me. I can’t help but feel as though I am wandering aimlessly confused through two concurrent tempestuous storms – that of the normal bafflement that marks emotional relationships between people, and that of the Muslim relationship paradigm, the absurdities of both obscuring my ability to progress to something meaningful.

This is exacerbated by the context from which I come. As someone who converted to Islam, the difference in male-female dynamics can be astounding. More than the physical barriers that I learned to adopt, it is the emotional ones that have proven the most difficult. Charles Blow wrote an article for the New York Times last year on the demise of dating in American relationships, where he described the dissolution of traditional dating and the shift to ‘hooking up,’ where you “just hang out with friends and hope something happens.” Approaching relationships from this background, and then inverting it to fit the Muslim experience that, even when it involves dating seems to be primarily focused on practical matchmaking, is difficult. It takes what was a personal, intimate, organic process and changes it into something that feels hollow and decidedly detached. I miss how things used to be.

arvan's picture

DESIGIRLS! - a film about being queer across cultures

What role does the South Asian LGBT community in New York City play in the life of A, who might never tell her family that she is a lesbian?  In contrast, what do Priyanka, who lives with her girlfriend and is able to be open about her sexuality, and Ashu, a DJ who runs Sholay productions, a social events group for queer South Asians, gain from being a part of this community?

Desigirls follows A and Priyanka as they negotiate their diverse and often fraught experiences as gay Indian women in New York.  While A is not comfortable with her sexuality, how is it that Priyanka, brought up in India, is?  The documentary explores what their varying experiences tell us about the role of minority community groups in a diverse and often fractured immigrant society.

Desigirls (part one)

Desigirls (part two)

arvan's picture

UN CEDAW urges Ukraine to eliminate discrimination against Romani women

[via Neww-Polska]

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and International Charitable Organization Roma Women Fund “Chiricli” welcome the Concluding Comments of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in its review of Ukraine’s compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.  The ERRC and Chiricli submitted a report to the Committee in the run-up to its review bringing attention to the situation of Romani women in Ukraine.

In its Concluding Comments, the Committee noted with regret the “lack of information in relation to […] vulnerable groups of women, in particular Romani women, who may be subjected to multiple forms of discrimination.” It invited the Ukrainian government to “provide comprehensive information and statistical data, in its next periodic report, on the situation of migrant and refugee women and of other vulnerable groups of women, in particular Roma women, who may be subjected to multiple forms of discrimination […] and on the measures taken for eliminating discrimination against these women with regard to their access to health, education, employment, social benefits, etc.”

In its review session the Committee strongly emphasised the need to make use of temporary special measures to improve the situation of Romani women. The Committee recommends that the Ukrainian government “adopt and implement temporary special measures, including quotas, as part of a comprehensive strategy aimed at the achievement of substantive gender equality in areas where women are underrepresented or disadvantaged, as well as for women suffering from multiple forms of discrimination, such as Roma women.”

The Committee also urged the Ukrainian government to “intensify its efforts to overcome persistent stereotypes that are discriminatory against women” with particular reference to Romani women, and to remove obstacles encountered by women to access shelters and social centres for victims of domestic violence, and to “immediate means of redress and protection, without limitation of age or of another kind.”

The full text of the CEDAW Committee’s Concluding Comments on Ukraine is available here: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cedaw/docs/co/CEDAW-C-UKR-CO-7.pdf  

In their report, based on first hand research throughout the country conducted in cooperation with local Romani women, the ERRC and Chiricli highlighted that there is no comprehensive anti-discrimination law in Ukraine via which Romani women can seek to defend their rights and challenge abuses when these occur. This is especially worrying in light of the fact that Romani women in Ukraine are at times subject to multiple and/or intersectional discrimination. The report revealed that 43% of the Romani women interviewed are victims of domestic violence and a very low percentage (only 2.5%) of Romani women interviewed access higher education due to patriarchal traditions, poverty, ethnic segregation or harassment by non-Roma classmates. As a result of this lack of education and direct or indirect discrimination on the job market, many Romani women lack access to formal employment and are forced to accept work in the grey economy, excluding them from state social benefits. Extreme poverty, inadequate housing and the disadvantaged position of Romani women make their health situation significantly worse then that of other female populations in Ukraine, or that of Romani men.

For further information, please contact:

Ostalinda Maya, ERRC, ostalinda.maya@errc.org +36 1 413 2200 (English and Spanish)

Zola Kondur, Chiricli, kondurzola@yahoo.com +380675096248 (English, Ukranian and Rus

arvan's picture

What to do with a cadaver: our relationship to the dead.

Have you ever seen a dead human body?  Some day, we will all become one.

What will your body look like when you are dead?  How will it feel?

Real dead bodies are all around us.  Everyone we know dies.  Everyone.  That face we see in the mirror, the hand we hold in the movies, the coworker we beat or who beats us for a promotion, the person serving your coffee as you read this - we will all die.  Our bodies will lie still and the energy systems of chemical bonds, electricity, gravity, heat, motion and momentum will no longer constitute themselves together as a person bearing our name.  It will all dissipate into other forms which themselves will be no more or less noble until they too give way to forms that follow.

Hiding from dead bodies is basically a luxury item (and a delusional one, at that).

Whether or not someone actually sees a corpse depends largely upon the society that person lives in. 

In a society where people have no health care or hospitals, people die out in the open a lot more.  On the side of the road, in their home, waiting for a bus, in a store, out in the woods.  Poorer countries are often ravaged by war and brutality, which create corpses en masse.

All in a day's work.

In affluent societies, we take great efforts to keep dying and dead bodies in the hospitals, away from public exposure.  If someone dies out in public, an emergency vehicle comes immediately to remove the body.  Any mess is cleaned up right away, leaving no trace or indication that someone - a person came to that place and died.  In our anonymous societies it is very difficult to leave any trace that we ever existed at all and our death is no exception.

Any bystanders who witness a public death in such societies are encouraged to move along, forget that we saw anything and pretend as if it never happened.  But we do not forget death.

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Young Arab Feminist Network hopes to build dialogue with older generations, non-feminists

By Heba El-Sherif / Daily News Egypt

CAIRO: When historians and political analysts first discussed a clash of civilizations, they were referring to a conflict that would arise due to cultural and religious differences in the post-Cold War years. In the world of feminism, however, such clash is born from a difference in age.

In the Arab world, young feminists are finding it hard to carve a space for themselves among an older, more experienced generation of female activists.

Last week, 20 participants from across seven Arab countries came to Cairo for a four-day meeting to kick off the first Young Arab Feminist Network (YAFN), an initiative fueled by a determination to seek gender equality, and a desire to “be taken seriously,” according to one Egyptian founder, Engy Ghozlan.

Ghozlan, who worked with several women’s organizations, recalls a recurrent conversation that, to her, describes the clash between old and young feminists in Egypt.

“This is what they tell us: ‘Where have you been in 1987 when I was doing this and that?’”   “Well I wasn’t here,” she quickly replies, “but now I’m here and I have something to say.”

James Turnbull's picture

Korean Gender Reader: April 19th 2010

 

( Source )

1. “Why I want to be a whore”

Never being interested in gisaeng (기생) previously, I am now intrigued after reading this unorthodox perspective on them at Curiosity Killed the Eccentric Yoruba, with a special emphasis on the 2006 drama Hwang Jin-i (황진이) above. A quick excerpt:

While I do not believe that courtesans largely lived happy lives, I do believe that they were the freest and most independent women in those patriarchal societies. I remember my friend reading me an essay she had written which she called ‘Why I want to be a whore’. She had written that essay for a Latin class she took and the context was ancient Rome. According to my friend the only profession that ensured a woman’s freedom and independence was to be prostitution and I am pretty sure she meant the art of the courtesan.

Anybody know how I can watch Hwang Jin-i with English and/or Korean subtitles?

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