Michael Italiano – 500714232
The Laboratory of Feminist Memory Bar at Glad Day Bookshop was the final instalment of the year for the Artivism Lab Speaker Series. Walking to the event, I wasn’t sure what to expect; a place that I’ve never been, in an unknown neighbourhood, full to the brim with many strangers and familiar people alike. However, the event was a fun and light-hearted environment with much informative and broadly diverse feminist content. As an in-person feminist archive, the event served to draw attention to both old and new forms of feminist media ranging anywhere from poems and music to video art projects.
The host Meg Mackay was very energetic and helped get the party started with her own touching personal coming out story. Some of the work presented included an excerpt from Midi Onodera’s 1985 film Ten Cents a Dance (Parallax), Zainub Verjee’s Three Watermelons One Hand, Anna Willat’s talk of her experiences with lesbian pregnancy, Kativa Dogra’s poem regarding young marriages in India, Thirza Cuthand’s 1995 Lesbians in Baby Dyke Theory film (which by the way is hilarious), and the list goes on and on of the many wonderful and informative projects including even one from a group of our classmates, as well as Marusya herself!
Speaking of Marusya, her paper “Big Effect: The Ephemeral Archive of Second-Wave Feminist Video Collectives in Canada” is a great reflection on the space of this event in itself; a bookstore. A collection of temporal objects in a space for access and consumption – an archive. Marusya explains how a “significant body of feminist media work is largely unknown and unavailable to the general public, not to mention students, teachers, activists, curators, and a new generation of feminists,” (Bociurkiw, 7). I feel that hosting the event in a bookstore/café hybrid is in a way a remediation of the archive itself, bringing discussion and information together into one as a means to spreading awareness. Allowing access to this otherwise unknown/unavailable media in a public space is very opportunistic and (as seen last night) a huge hit! If only I had the chance to make my way to the tarot reading table…
Marusya Bociurkiw. “Big Affect: The Ephemeral Archive of Second-Wave Feminist Video Collectives in Canada.” Camera Obscura, 2006, vol. 31, no. 3, pp 5-12.