Photo by Christina Thomson
This piece was created for the Edgy Women 2013 festival organised by Studio 303.
The piece was featured in the awesome Game On!! at Blue Cat Boxing Club in Montreal. This working foosball table features 22 feminists from across all ages, geographies and cultures. It features both local Canadian feminists who I know as well as some of the heavy hitters from around the world.
This piece came about as a way to combine my love of soccer, which when I was growing up was a sport that was male dominated outside of North America, with my love of honouring the brave resilient women who have inspired us by carving revolutionary precedents. I love the idea of juxtaposing things even if they don't make obvious “sense”. I like to exploit subjectivity and trust my intuition.
None of the feminists I chose are particularly known for their athletic ability. I have chosen those whose thoughts and actions challenged the status quo. I believe thinking is akin to sport. We pass around ideas, each individual has their own notion, spin, interpretation. The soccer ball then becomes a symbol for a dynamic ever-changing theory as well as a physical connection point between feminists with disparate views and from a variety of geographical locations, eras and notorieties.
The women portrayed include:
1.Gillian McIntyre: My mother, an ardent feminist and energetic force to be reckoned with and constant source of inspiration. She works in interpretive design and adult education at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto with an eye towards creating challenging and inclusive public programming.
2.Wilmot Mae Saxby: Known as Bill, my maternal grandmother. A feisty character who taught in low income schools in England.
3.Lorraine Oades; Local Montreal artist & educator at Concordia University. Much of her work centres on the encouragement and recognition of women's contributions to contemporary culture. oades.wordpress.com
4.Metta Spencer: A Canadian peace researcher, activist, writer, sociologist. She received her Ph.D. in sociology at University of Berkeley, California. She was awarded the Confederation Medal awarded by Governor-General for Service to Canada(1992), Global Citizen Award, United Nations (1995), United Nations Association in Canada Award (1999). She publishes the monthly Peace magazinePeace magazine . She lives and works in Toronto
5.Dorothy W. Williams: Local historian of Quebec's black history. She has written several books including The Road to Now and Blacks in Montreal 1628-1986: An Urban Demography which chronicles black histories that have been written out of popular knowledge.
6.Betty Friedan (b.1921) Famous feminist author of The Feminine Mystique (1963) which was largely influential in the second-wave feminist movement in the USA.
7.Sojourner Truth (1797-1883). Born a slave in the USA, famous orator of Ain't I am Woman at 1851Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio
8.Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) American suffragist. Lectured, organised and about suffrage movement.
9.Dionne Brand, Trinidad and Tobago/Canadian contemporary writer. Toronto Poet Laureate in 2009, writes on feminism, race, gender, sexuality.
10.Angela Davis, American political activist, feminist and philosopher. Active in the Civil Rights Movement, linked to the Communist Party USA and Black Panther Party.
11.Emma Goldman,(1869 – 1940), Anarchist, feminist and activist.
12.María de la Cruz Toledo (1912-1995) Chilean political activist, journalist, active in women's suffrage movement in Chile, first women elected to Chilean Senate
13.Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Social democrat and current Prime Minister of Iceland. The only openly gay prime minister in the world.
14. Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904) Illegitimate daughter of Russian aristocratic mother Nathalie Moerder (née Eberhardt)and ex-priest anarchist father Alexandre Trophimowsky, anarchist living in Algeria, cross-dressed as an Islamic man to wander the Sahara desert.
15. Mary Two- Axe Earley, A Mohawk from Kahnawake, Quebec. She worked to amend the Canadian Indian Act (1985) so that women who married non-Indians did not lose their status.
16. Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) African-American abolitionist born into slavery. Led slaves to freedom through escorting them on the Underground railroad, worked on women's suffrage movement. Worked with Susan Anthony and Frederick Douglass.
17. Fatima al-Fihri (? – 880), Founded first degree granting University of Qarawiyyin
18. Empress Nur Jahan, (1577-1645) Wife of Mughal Dynasty Emperor Jahangir Nur in India. She had much influence and was especially pro-active in women's issues
19. Empress Wu Zetian, Tang Dynasty China (625-705 AD) Wife of Emperor Kao Tsung. Campaigned against Confucian sexist beliefs, ordered biographies of famous women written. Invited scholars and raised the profile of Buddhism in China.
20. Simone de Beauvoir (1908 – 1986), French writer, political activist known for her 1949 book The Second Sex. Partner of Jean-Paul Sartre.
21. Germaine Greer. Contemporary Australian writer and journalist, very influential in 20th century Women's Liberation movement wrote The Female Eunuch in 1970.
22. Alice Walker, American writer and womanist(her term for a black feminist), author of The Color Purple.