for further exploration: frida’s love letters, playwright amy wheeler, feminist comics, artist larissa sansourPosted: August 26, 2013
A few things you should know about before you take this day any further:
- Frida Kahlo is one of my ultimates. Every move the woman made was pure art–paintings, clothing, homes, relationships, politics. Given the amount of physical and emotional trauma she faced, it’s amazing that she insisted on seeing life through so much color instead of turning to darkness. It turns out that she could have been a damn fine poet too. Somehow I had no idea that there were facsimiles of her diaries floating around (see The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait, but, look, I hate to link to Amazon, so see if you can find it somewhere else). From this book, Brainpickings offers a few images of Frida’s letters to her husband, Diego Rivera, and they are divine. Here’s a peak [capitalization hers]:
“Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. you are the mirror of the night. the violent flash of lightning. the dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. my fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.”
Reminds me of Pablo Neruda. Did they inspire each other? Someone research this and write a lovely essay on it.
- The Feminist Wire has an interview with feminist playwright Amy Wheeler. Wheeler talks about what feminism means to her creative work, how art can make an impact on social issues, and Hedgebrook, a retreat for women writers. Here’s an excerpt that echoes my own thoughts:
“I believe creative work is the way. Stories connect us and cause us to experience empathy, to imagine what it feels like to see the world through someone else’s eyes, or walk in their shoes. And this is key: we have to understand and believe that we are deeply, irrevocably connected; that we are more alike than we are different from each other, and that our interconnectedness is our strongest asset as animals on the planet.”
- Warning bells go off in my head and my belly immediately begins stoking dragon fire whenever I hear, “I’m a feminist, but….” Comics are safer than dragon fire, however, so feast your eyes on The Big Feminist BUT: Comics about Women, Men and the Ifs, Ands & Buts of Feminism. I’m not going to pretend not to notice that the afterward comes from the controversial Hugo Schwyzer, but don’t let it stop you from at least taking a look. It’s poignant and clever.
- The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID, a fantastic organization) has an interview with Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour about art, activism, and censorship. If you want to learn more about her work, I recommend Falafel Road, Nation Estate, and Trespass the Salt. I will leave you with Sansour’s words:
“The issue of women’s rights is not only necessary to address for its own sake, but also because it opens a magnitude of questions as to how we perceive reality and why it is important to question the very system by which our humanity is constructed and by how we perceive things.