Feminist Research Performance Project
Erika DeFreitas & Leena Raudvee

“I know what I used to think of it as, which is looking at women in a society that is defined by a patriarchy and finding a place for women to fight against that patriarchy…” Leena Raudvee

How does one define Feminism? What is a Feminist? What does a Feminist do? How do you become a Feminist? These are just a few of the questions that we asked each other when presented with the challenge of performing Feminist culture. As self-proclaimed Feminists we have our individual narratives to answer our initial questions.

As Feminists of different generations and varied cultures we’re interested in answering these questions with specific reference to the ‘now’. Since the inception of a Feminist culture many theories have circulated, many discussions have been had, and we now feel that it is time for a re-defining and/or re-culturing of our understanding of Feminist culture as it exists today.

As performance artists, a core element in each of our practices is the act of collaboration. With this in mind, we are taking an investigative approach and putting out this open call for responses to our key question: What instructions can you give for a Feminist action?

We ask that you provide us with instructions for a Feminist action that we may choose to interpret and perform.

Please send instructions to Leena Raudvee and Erika DeFreitas at the following email address: erika.leena@gmail.com with the subject: Action.

Documentation of performed actions will be on exhibit at XPACE Culture Centre during the WIAprojects symposium Performing Feminist Culture, held on November 6, 2010.

Exhibition: Love Letters to Feminism
Carolyn Jervis

Call for Submissions: Mail Art
Love Letters to Feminism

Create art and write the words that explore your personal relationship with feminism.

We want to know what kind of relationship you have with feminism:
Are you in a long-term relationship?
Is it unrequited love? A love triangle?
Do you have a crush on feminism?
Perhaps you are having a lovers’ quarrel?

Submissions to the exhibition should include:
An artwork/letter that has a maximum size of 8.5×11 inches.
Your name, mailing address, email address, and a short bio on a separate page.

*Please include the appropriate extra postage inside your envelope if you want your work returned.
Maximum 3 works per person.
Deadline: 15 October 2010

Work will be exhibited at WIAprojects Symposium, Performing Feminist Culture at the XPACE Cultural Centre opening Nov 5th 2010 and will join the Love Letters Collection for future and online exhibitions (unless you indicate otherwise)

Mail your love notes to:
Love Letters to Feminism
c/o Carolyn Jervis
PO Box 4846
Edmonton, AB, Canada
T6E 5G7
Questions? Email loveletterstofeminism@gmail.com
Want to learn more about the project?
Visit loveletterstofeminism.blogspot.com

Edmonton-based art activist, writer, curator, and educator Carolyn Jervis combined her love for art, activism and feminism to create the art show Love Letters to Feminism, which has been exhibited across the country. This show has previously been featured at the Women’s Studies Program Gallery, University of Alberta in Edmonton, and at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Concordia University in Montreal.

The show brings together mail art from artists, writers, and feminists from across the country, and from ex-patriots as far away as Turkey. The letters together show how each participant negotiates and navigates her or his own relationship with feminism, reflecting on how it is an ‘ism’ for everyone, defying a singular definition in favor of being a useful tool transformable based on specific needs and desires. One artist reflects upon why she still needs feminism because of the continuing wage gap between men and women. Another looks more personally to how feminism was a support after an experience of sexual assault. What is consistent through the unique voice in each letter is the overwhelming message that a relationship with feminism is important and necessary in their lives.

The exhibition opens up the opportunity for audience members to become participants and either share their own experiences with feminism or be in correspondence with a letter in the gallery. Letters, envelopes, pens, and pencil crayons, not to mention pink heart-shaped pads of sticky notes, invite visitors to the space to become more than viewers and write their own love letters. And evidence of that participation is clear – Love Letters to Feminism continues to grow and dialogues develop with each exhibition.