Naima Morelli

Tag "feminism"

My fifth piece for Middle East Eye is about a Lebanese comic book which tells forgotten stories of country’s feminist struggle. Called ‘Where to, Marie?’, this comic book distils a century of overlooked feminist battles through the stories of five fictional characters. I have interviewed the authors.

Here is the link to the piece

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Océane Sailly, Founder and Director of HUNNA / هُنَّ in front of Alia's Zaal painting

Many of us have misconceptions and preconceived ideas about the art scene in the Gulf countries. Hence, when we see the work of a gallery like Hunna/ هُنَّ — founded this year and representing eight women artists from the Gulf — we open our eyes in disbelief.

How can these artists possibly talk about such thorny issues, like questions of power or the female body, and get away with it? We speak about it on Middle East Monitor with the founder of Hunna, gallerist Océane Sailly

Here is the link to the interview

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It’s a long time I don’t press pause from the journalistic mode for a moment, to share some parts of my life as an arts and culture writer. I decided to do it today, to spell out the cardinal points that drive my writing today. Spelling them out for myself in the first place, of course, so I can embrace them with more awareness.

I must start by saying that, as writers, we might take our work lightly, but holding a pen is like holding a sword (or a bo staff to pick my weapon of choice.) That’s why I have decided to always make my best to be impeccable with my words, using this power for good. Some of these ethics I took to balance out my original spirit, which is quite combative, in a way which gives me strength and passion, but can easily get out of hand.

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My fourth piece for Culture360 – the webmagazine of the Asia-Europe Foundation – has just been published. It’s always a joy to see my words out there, also because I get to write about two of my favourite subjects: feminism and Indonesian contemporary art.

For this piece called “Feminism and women artists in Indonesian Contemporary Art” I have interviewed the amazing researcher Wulan Dirgantoro, art historian Farah Wardani and artist Samantha Tio (Mintio).

Here is the link to the piece

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My interview with Indonesian sculptor and artist Dolorosa Sinaga has just been published on the Italian magazine Art a Part of Cult(ure) with the title “Freedom is the foundation for everything”. In the interview we discuss political activism during the dictatorship, Jakarta vs London and the followers of… Doloism!

Here’s the link to the article

Dolorosa Sinaga’s interview has been my second in Jakarta for my infamous reportage about contemporary art in Indonesia which is now… guess what? A book! In Italian. Which you can purchase here.


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I interviewed the artist Tania Ferrier some days ago at her apartment in the grooviest side St.Kilda, Melbourne.
This versatile artist was born in Perth but travelled a lot during her life.
It was a very interesting chat for me, not only because she was able to compare the two art scenes that I’m investigating at the moment (Perth and Melbourne). The most interesting thing was indeed to see how her adventurous life is strictly connected to her artistic practice.
Waiting for her interview to be published, I want to share an aspect of her early production: the “Angry Underwear”.

The story around the Angry Underwear seems to be out a Frank Miller graphic novel.
In the seventies Tania was working as clothed bartender in a Go Go Strip Club in New York.
In that period she started to make outfits for the strippers, motivated by one particular incident.

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Hyper-realistic paintings have never been one of my favourite, but actually, when it comes to Indonesian artist Dede Eri Supria, I’m getting more and more interested.
I was searching for information about the New Art Movement for my book on Contemporary Art in Indonesia and I ran into the video above.
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“Heroinas”, appena conclusa negli spazi del Museo Tyssen e alla Fondazione Caja Madrid, è una di quelle rare mostre che oltre a porre dei problemi, una caratteristica tipica del contemporaneo, si preoccupa anche di risolverli.

Il problema in questione, di scottante attualità, è quello delle rappresentazioni della donna, qui risolto con un taglio curatoriale degno del miglior sarto madrileno; la scelta è quella di attingere in primo luogo al mito, substrato profondo di tutta la cultura europea, interpretato alle volte in maniera filologica, rileggendo figure sottovalutate, a volte in maniera polemica, operando un capovolgimento dei ruoli. D’altronde, come ci ricordare il Direttore Artistico Guillermo Solana: “Le femministe hanno spesso trasformato gli stereotipi misogini in immagini sovversive”.
Tutto questo senza tradire lo spirito degli artisti in mostra, molti dei quali, per semplici motivi cronologici, non potevano certo prendere parte al dibattito sul femminile, eppure ci hanno restituito delle eroine di grande intensità e complessità emotiva, mettendo in crisi la monolitica dicotomia Madonna rassicurante-Venere seducente, maternità e oggetto erotico, che troppo spesso si è trasformata in una lettura di molte figure della storia dell’arte, oltre a sembrare, come sappiamo, il bivio obbligato per il quale ogni adolescente degli anni 2000 debba passare.
Spiega Solana:”La storia della cultura occidentale è piena di immagini di donne seduttive, indulgenti, sottomesse, sconfitte e schiavizzate. Ma questa esposizione è centrata su donne forti: attive, indipendenti, sfidanti, ispirate, creative, dominatrici e trionfanti, o, per usare una parola chiave delle femministe, questa mostra comprende immagini che siano fonte di “empowerment” per le donne stesse”
Non più oggetto ma finalmente soggetto, insomma.

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