In the last year or so (really since Ignite, MCN2014), I've been especially inspired by the formation and work of Incluseum. I sincerely hope that this post may help contribute to the discussion, as another voice sharing my story and advocating for museum inclusion for all people.
I am a woman who is Jewish. One of the over 70% who voted for Hillary. I live in Minnesota, the state with the highest voter turn out. Personally, I'm also a survivor of extreme male intimate partner trauma and the woman I was named after, my great-grandmother Pesah Leah, was brutally murdered in the Holocaust. As a result of immersing myself in my cultural identity and working hard to heal and triumph from my experiences, I've been working on sharing vulnerable museum stories. I studied Jewish art history in grad school from a feminine perspective, often the story of subjugation, social violence, genocide, diasporism, and resilience = my story.
I am and will always be working towards a better world for all. However, it obviously hasn't been enough. I admit one of my worst weakness is that sometimes I loose my voice and just draw.. I get afraid sometimes and just get silent. I am trying not to do this. I do wish to do more to work together, louder and stronger, with POC, Immigrants, Muslims, Hispanics, Asian, GLBTAI, Disabled, and all persecuted people to make a better world. Museums and Artists have a responsibility to work much harder, hopefully by "cooking together" as suggested by Liz Ogbu at MCN2015, in creating a better world. I want to collaborate. I have been sensitive to appropriation and try to be careful with stories of identities that are not mine, but there are many that are ours. I know there are great ways to collaborate and work together, and feel committed to seek these opportunities.
Recent Drawings from Holocaust Art
Although my work has been my story, I believe the relevance today is it's universal aspects of feminine identity, social and sexual violence, displacement, diasporism, cultural intolerance, war, genocide. I am not a perfect person but on a learning journey which I believe in; using creative tech for a better world. My drawings hopefully serve as a rainbow-bridge to help connect the public with the realities of human nature and wake-up to social change, I have always believed history does, and will repeat itself. It is why I do the kind of work I do.. I've been expecting this.
I have been MuseumDraw animating Marginalized Voices in Museums, and shared some at Creative Tech Week NYC, and made a plea to museums to Use Tech for a Better World at MCN2015, and at Museums and the Web, in Los Angeles. However with the election results, I feel like its even more 100% critical to share narratives that highlight cultural and racial genocide, social and sexual violence, misogyny and hatred. I do believe we are not safe. Cori Wegener, my Mentor at Mia during grad school in 2006-2008, taught me to ask myself "So What?" - That was one of the most valuable lessons I leaned. I hold firmly that if one's answer isn't about making a better world, in some way, then I believe its time to reconsider what one is doing!
I have many more examples that I'm happy to share, but these selections help illustrate the power of new digital narratives and stories on identity and vulnerable voices that confront wartime, rape, social violence, genocide, cultural intolerance and more.