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Vulnerable ecologies: This Woman’s Work

By Dr Ian Bethell-Bennett, The University of The Bahamas. Feminist ecology and ecocriticism have usually pushed for embracing the environment and awareness of the same in our life ways.  The intersection of art, ecology and a female’s perspective is often fertile space for serious discussions and new understandings of society, and its socioeconomic and sociopolitical challenges.  The environment and ecology are under serious threat as we can see from Naomi Klein’s This changes everything: Capitalism vs the Climate (2014) along with the U.S. government’s recent report on the dangers of climate change as well as the United Nations’ Report on Climate change.  Capitalism, usually seen as the driver of economies and the joy of consumption, encourage a particular disregard for conservation and natural balance in favour of expansive and unlimited profits.  Meanwhile, artists, nature lovers and regular citizens face the threat of extinction through rising sea levels and increased storm frequency and ferocity due in large part to human consumption of fossil fuels and living outside of harmony.  One of the links that we as island dwellers refuse to make is the link between  the patriarchy and masculinist discourse that deny the existence of climate change and sea level rise. They reflect a deeply colonial mindset that negates the outward reality.  They also offer the limitless life of market growth and profit.  However, all things are limited, there is no unending elasticity to profits. 

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“Yin” Calls Forth a New World of Feminine Transformation: Conjuring resistance, hope and peace

By Ilene Sova, Hon BFA, MFA. Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Drawing and Painting Ontario College of Art and Design University.

I’ve always said the fact that all women aren’t stark raving mad is a complete miracle because to live in a world where basically every bad thing that happens to you, you’ve somehow brought on yourself by being female … it’s just like, come on, man! It’s like … to the least of us, whatever is going on, it’s happening to all of us.”  Callie Khouri, screenwriter of “Thelma & Louise”. The past two years have been extraordinarily difficult on the psyches of women around the globe. Newsfeeds are full of disturbing stories of sexual assault, the falls from grace of several male celebrities and cultural icons, and the pulling back of dark curtains revealing immense pain and abuses of power in all sectors of our society. Social commentary abounds on how the enormity of this abuse was allowed to go on for such long periods of time. Women from all levels of society began to speak out in large numbers, bringing what was hidden behind closed doors, out into public view. Secrets of violence whispered to each other in back channels were suddenly being blasted loudly on cable news; relentlessly dissected, cast with doubt, and denied by powerful men. How does this onslaught affect our consciousness? How does bearing witness to these damaging stories change the way we view ourselves and the women around us? How will these revelations and their ubiquity change how we interact with one another? What does the future hold for the human relationships we hold the dearest?  

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