Feminist Manifestos

Seminar 2 of Freedom of Speech: A Curriculum for Studies into Darkness Mon 3 Dec 2018 10.00AM-8.30PM READINGS & PERFORMANCES: 10:00am-6:00pm
The New School campus
CONVERSATION: 6:30-8:30pm
The New School | Wollman Hall
65 West 11th Street, 5th floor
New York City
Click Here for Seminar Overview

Free admission. On registration, participants will receive preparatory reading material.
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[Please note: event summary, suggested reading, program and video documentation can be found at bottom of this page.]

Manifestos have been historically used by feminist activists, artists and writers to boldly state their ideas and demands. Usually brief and direct in tone, they point to circumstances deemed unacceptable and in need of change, and propose pathways to move forward in order to overcome the status quo. From Olympe de Gouges in revolutionary France to the Redstockings in the streets of New York City and the Zapatistas in the remote mountains of the Mexican southeast, women have employed manifestos as a means to be heard and circulate their ideas, but also as a way to build coalitions with others who might recognize themselves in their struggles. As part of the year-long seminar cycle Freedom of Speech: Curriculum for Studies into Darkness, this event proposes speech as a collective act of re-appropriation. It calls for a network of resistance and transformation through the enactment of a series of documents written by women in different corners of the world during different moments in time, resonant with the explosive reality we experience now.

Feminist Manifestos is presented as a two-part public program that will activate written statements challenging cultural production, food distribution, knowledge creation, land ownership and other systems of oppression that the patriarchy, still today, refuses to acknowledge. Starting at 10am on Monday morning, a diverse group of self-identified women from across The New School—students, alumni, administrative and maintenance staff, union members, and faculty—will be reading and performing a selection of historical and contemporary manifestos at various locations within the university's architecture. Those specific spaces have been selected because they relate to the content of the texts, and play a significant role in the performers´ daily lives. Through the acts of public speaking and collective listening, quotidian spaces become the context for socio-political struggles while also pointing out at the emancipatory potential of our everyday activities and choices.

The second part of the event serves as a gathering to discuss the conditions from which the manifestos emerged and the ways in which they have catalyzed new forms of cooperation and collective action. Along with feminist scholars and visual artists, we will explore ideas—gleaned from the documents—such as the perpetuation of capitalism based on the unpaid reproductive labor women perform, or the unexpected advantages of anonymity within the arts. Additionally, women who enacted the manifestos earlier in the day will be sharing their experiences of performing Free Speech, embodying the knowledge, perspectives and emotions embedded in those statements.

CONVERSATION: 6:30-8:30pm
Those registered and
Becca Albee, visual artist and musician
Chiara Bottici, Associate Professor of Philosophy, The New School for Social Research
Silvia Federici, philosopher, scholar, writer and activist from the radical autonomist Marxist tradition
A.L. Steiner, visual artist, teacher, collaborator and co-founder of Ridykeulous and Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.)

Gabriela López Dena, Vera List Center Graduate Student Fellow, Art and Social Justice

Melanie Crean
Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway, 1985
Main lobby
Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street

Abby Zan Schwarz
Women's Environmental Rights: A Manifesto by Leslie Weisman, 1981
Stairwell, 5th-6th floor
University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue

Hannah Roodman
A Manifesto by Agnes Denes, 1970
Albert and Vera List Academic Center, 6 East 16th Street

Gabriela López Dena
Palabras a nombre de las mujeres Zapatistas al inicio del primer encuentro internacional, político, artístico, deportivo y cultural de mujeres que luchan by the Zapatista Women, 2018
Foyer, University President's Office, 8th floor
Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street

Zara Khjadeeja Majoka
The Charter of Feminist Principles for African Feminists by the African Feminist Forum, 2006
11:30am-1:30pm and 2:00-4:00pm
Entrance of the List Center Library, 8th floor
Albert and Vera List Academic Center, 6 East 16th Street

Gal Cohen
Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969! by Mierle Laderman Ukeles, 1969
Main lobby
Sheila Johnson Design Center, 2 West 13th Street

Iayana Elie
The Combahee River Collective Statement by Combahee River Collective, 1977
The Walter A. and Vera Eberstadt Student Lounge, 5th floor
University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue

Thalia Rondon Raffo
Manifiesto de práctica feminista by Asociación de Revistas Culturales Independientes de Argentina, 2018
Social Justice Hub, 5th floor
University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue

Claire Potter
Declaration of the Rights of Woman by Olympe de Gouges, 1791
O Café
Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, 65 West 11th Street

Chasity Wilson
Wages for Housework by The Wages for Housework Committee, 1978
Housing and Residential Education
318 East 15th St

Caroline García
Xenofeminist Manifesto by Laboria Cuboniks, 2018
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, 66 Fifth Avenue

Aleksandra Wagner
Feminist Manifesto by Mina Loy, 1914
Security booth
Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street

Quenessa Barnes
Women's Declaration on Food Sovereignty by Nayéléni: Forum for Food Sovereignty, 2007
Sushi Bar, 2nd floor
University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue

Caroline Macfarlane
Redstockings Manifesto by Redstockings, 1969
Classrooms across the 6th floor
Albert and Vera List Academic Center, 6 East 16th Street

Ola Ronke
Transformation of Silence Into Language and Action by Audre Lorde, 1977
University Center Library
University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue

The seminar series Freedom of Speech. A Curriculum for Studies into Darkness is organized by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics as part of the center's 2018–2020 curatorial focus If Art Is Politics. It is directed by Carin Kuoni, Director/Chief Curator, Vera List Center, and Laura Raicovich with assistance by Gabriela López Dena. Partner organizations for the seminars are ARTICLE 19; the National Coalition Against Censorship; New York Peace Institute; and Weeksville Heritage Center.
Feminist Manifestos has been curated by Vera List Center Graduate Student Fellow Gabriela López Dena within the context of her thesis project Feminist Urbanism.
    • Feminist Manifestos
      • K VLC. Feminist Manifestos. SUGGESTED READINGS Download - pdf (196 kB)
      • K VLC. Feminist Manifestos. PROGRAM Download - pdf (601 kB)
      • K VLC. Feminist Manifestos. SUMMARY Download - pdf (376 kB)