In response to the feminist foundation and history of the A.I.R Gallery project, with the intention of provoking rigorous examination of how now established feminist organizations, individuals, and cooperatives can continue to respond to vectors of oppression and bias, fellowship artist Naomi Elena Ramirez has organized a conversation on Intersectional Feminism with artist luciana achugar, writer Laina Dawes, artist Michelle Y Lee, and poet Candace Williams.
Intersectionality, a term coined by scholar and civil rights advocate Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, describes how overlapping systems of oppression create experiences that differ from a single-axis framework. The intersectional framework holds that multidimensional basis of gender, race, social class, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, age, mental disability, physical disability, mental illness, physical illness, and other forms of discrimination must be examined and considered in simultaneity in order to respond to the complex formations of social inequalities.
luciana achugar is a Brooklyn-based choreographer from Uruguay who has been making work independently and collaboratively since 1999. She is a two-time “Bessie” Award recipient, a Guggenheim Fellow, Creative Capital Grantee and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grantee, amongst other accolades. Most recently she received the 2017 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts for Dance. She was one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2012 and her Bessie Award-winning work PURO DESEO was named one of 2010 TimeOUT NY’s “Best of Dance”. She received the 2015 Austin Critic’s Award for Best Touring work for OTRO TEATRO, after being presented at the Fusebox Festival, and having premiered in 2014 at the Walker Art Center and NYLA. Her latest work, An Epilogue for OTRO TEATRO: True Love, premiered at Gibney Dance in December 2015 and was nominated for a 2016 BESSIE Award for Outstanding Production. Follow her new process as well as her ongoing The Pleasure Project on Instagram @achugarluciana.
Laina Dawes is the author of What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal (Bazillion Points Books, 2012). A music and cultural critic, her writings and photography can be found in various print, online publications and radio programs, such as The Wire (UK), Fader, Decibel Bitch, MTV Iggy, NPR, Cuepoint (Medium) and Bandcamp. Laina has been invited to several colleges and universities as a guest lecturer and has spoken at a number of music and academic conferences in Canada and the United States. She also served as an adjunct Lecturer at Eugene Lang College / The New School. This fall, Laina will start her second year in Columbia University’s Ph.D. program in Ethnomusicology.
Michelle Young Lee (b. 1981, Los Angeles California) is an interdisciplinary visual artist. Her works have been featured in international exhibitions, festivals and magazines including Hearing Landscapes Critically at Harvard University, Boston, MA; 80 WSE Gallery, NYC, New York; the Pingyao Photography Festival, Pingyao, China; 2013 Philosophy and Arts Conference, NYC, New York; Boda Center for Visual Arts, Seoul, South Korea; Museo Ex Teresa Arte Actual, Mexico City, Mexico; Sala Rekalde, Bilbao Spain; Schindler House/MAK Center, Los Angeles, California; Wolgan Sajin: Monthly Photo Magazine Korea and Glamour Magazine, France. Lee received her BFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2006 and MFA from New York University in 2013. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Candace Williams’ poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Hyperallergic, Lambda Literary Review, and the Brooklyn Poets Anthology (Brooklyn Arts Press), among other places. Her first collection, Spells for Black Wizards, won the Atlas Review’s 2017 Chapbook Series. She’s earned an MA in Elementary Education from Stanford University, a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship, and scholarships from Cave Canem. She's performed, presented, and taught workshops at the Obie-winning Bushwick Starr Theater, the New Museum, Dixon Place, Eyebeam, and the Museum of Arts and Design.