U. Rochester invites students to 'eco-feminist' 'art activism' projects

Students are invited to help the artists embroider and braid fabric to raise awareness for causes such as "protecting local rivers."

An upcoming event at the University of Rochester involves 'participatory' art projects with two Polish 'eco-feminist' artists.

University of Rochester students are invited Thursday to embroider and braid fabric for environmental causes with two "eco-feminist" Polish artists.

The New York event will consist of "participatory public art activism projects" followed by further presentations from the artists and a reception. The entire schedule of events is funded by the university's Humanities Project and Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies.

The event will begin with artist Monika Drożyńska's presentation of her art series "Urban Embroidery." Audience members will then be asked to help create a new embroidered banner as part of the "socially engaged" series, which will be displayed in Rochester's Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies.

After Drożyńska shares the experience of "eco-feminist" embroidery with students, she will turn the event over to artist Cecylia Malik, whom the school describes as a "painter, performer, activists, and educator."  

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According to the university, Malik's products "blends artistic practice with ecological campaigns and social activism." Malik's Instagram profile reveals that much of her work involves embroidering and bedazzling women's swimsuits with sayings supporting various environmental causes such as "SAVE RIVER," AND "NO DAM."

Malik will then also engage attendees by encouraging them to help her make very long braids of fabric in order to "call attention to protecting local rivers," in a project modeled after a similar project of hers that was comprised of braiding fabric together into a five-kilometer plait in order to protest an irrigation proposal that would drain a Polish river. 

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After embroidering and braiding for eco-feminism, students are invited to a reception with both artists, where more of the artists' work will be displayed. Exhibits will include Drożyńska's "Disappearance of Monuments," which is a collection of about 40 vintage postcards she obtained from a flea market, and Malik's "Polish Mothers on Stumps," a "reaction" performance addressing mass logging that "combines the aesthetics of a protest with a purely artistic performance on the verge of a photo reportage and an arranged, surreal situation."

Campus Reform reached out to the university for comment but didn’t receive a response in time for publication.

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