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Travelling exhibit for victimized women opens in Los Angeles

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Officers of AF3IRM expound on women’s issues during the opening of the traveling art

A MULTI-RACIAL feminist organization has opened a traveling art exhibition over the weekend in a gallery in Chinatown, Los Angeles to honor women who were victimized in the society in different ways.

Titled Recuerdo / Alaala / ذاكرة / Remembrance: Earrings of Shadow and Light, would be the “first traveling art exhibition of its kind,” according to the members of the feminist group AF3IRM.

The artworks were created by local and international artists, jewelry makers, musicians and community folks. All the creative imaginations were focused on the creation of art around earrings. But each of the participants was asked to create only one earring instead of a pair.

In a commemorative booklet, the organizers explained that the reason for that was: “Across borders, earrings are ornaments that have been worn from pre-colonial times to the present with various purposes and significance, and in Recuerdo / Alaala / ذاكرة / Remembrance, they hold deep meaning. Earrings are typically worn in pairs; however, participants were asked to create just one earring as a tribute to a particular woman or issue. The single earring not only honors women’s histories and experiences, but sheds light onto those whose stories have gone unheard, whose lives have been taken, and whose voices have been erased.”

“The exhibition seeks to remember women – not only with the visual story told through the earring displayed, but also through the void present within the incomplete pair. As transnational/women of color, we are all too familiar with the absence and disappearance of the lives and stories of women. The works on display seek to tell the stories and honor the women that history, the mainstream media, and so many within our society refuse to acknowledge. We bear witness to all of our sisters through this illumination of the earring displayed and the loss  portrayed in its shadow.”

Ivy Quidro, AF3IRM international organizing director, said around 20 artists participated and 40 pieces of artworks were created for the exhibit. She said that the art exhibition will attempt to highlight the fate of millions of girls and women who went missing, murdered and/or trafficked around the world.

Quidro still could not say how long the exhibition would stay in its current gallery at Chung King Road in Chinatown, Los Angeles.

“We are still in the process of negotiating with the gallery here and with our counterparts in the other cities,” Quidro said, “but we will make the announcement soon.”

The Los Angeles show was participated by jewelry makers Nena SoulFly, Native Sol, Noelle Reyes of Mi Vida Boutique, and ilaments; media artist and ethnobotanist T’uy’t’tanat – Cease Wyss of the Squamish First Nation; storyteller Tanzila Ahmed of the #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast; world-renowned Chilean musician Ana Tijoux; and Chicana Artivist Martha Gonzalez; as well as one of the founders and several artists from Heart of Art, a space for women, queer and transgender folks.

AF3IRM is a national organization of transnational feminist women of color with nine chapters across the country. Founded in 1989, AF3IRM’s diverse, multi-ethnic membership recognizes the intersectionality of the struggles of different races and is dedicated to the struggle for women’s liberation and to fight all forms of oppression.

Abner Galino
The author is a poet and a writer. He was a cultural worker before he became a reporter for Tinig ng Masa and Malaya Midday Edition during the Marcos regime. He later became a reporter of People's Tonight shortly after 1986 EDSA Revolution. He went on to become its Chief of Reporters, City Editor and News Editor. He retired after 15 years in the Journal Group of Publications. He now writes for Weekend Balita and the US Asian Post (USAP), weekly Filipino-American newspapers based in Los Angeles, California.

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