DC area NMWA followers and friends, you do not want to miss this! There’s a screening of Joan Braderman’s documentary The Heretics tonight at 8pm. Click here for more info!
The Heretics is not just a documentary about a magazine, nor was Heresies just a feminist magazine – it was and is a snapshot of the entire Second Wave feminist movement of the 1970s. Women from across the globe – artists, activists, filmmakers, poets, writers, teachers – joined together to publish content other art magazines wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. Take, for example, the Sex Issue – the staff sent it off to be printed and heard nothing for weeks… and when the printer finally got back to them, it was revealed that they had refused to print it because the women working there were offended by the content! Narrated, writted, and directed by filmmaker Joan Braderman, the film features 24 women from the hundreds who worked on Heresies sharing their memories and outlook on the future of feminism.
As a young woman of 22, I found the film very watchable, peppered with funny anecdotes and creative digital animations that evoke the original aesthetic of the magazine itself while still looking forward through technology. Indeed, the women who speak in the film have an optimism about the future, despite the reluctance of young women today to call themselves feminists. They’re correct – “feminism” is today, as it always has been, a taboo word. Using the word itself affirms that gender inequality exists when you might not be prepared to admit it. Yes, women and men are equal on paper today, and I can’t imagine living in the world with the blatant discrimination that the women of Heresies did – but it does exist, and for that reason alone you should see The Heretics. Here is one simple statistic to rock your world, borrowed from the excellent official website of The Heretics: “60 percent of art students are women, only 15 percent show up in galleries and about 4 percent of the work shown these days, in any given show at the Museum of Modern Art is made by women.” (Schor, Mira, M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online.) Still think women are completely equal?
The fact remains, as one artist interviewed in the film says, that we do still need feminism. Take a look at the “Why Now?” section of The Heretics website for more insight as to why now is always a good time to talk about equality.
Come out to the screening in DC tonight, or keep an eye on the official website to find out how you can see the film. It’s an excellent movie – well directed and informative (and with lots of artist interviews too!)
The Heretics at American University
10/30/2009 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Admission is free; Reception to follow.
Abramson Family Recital Hall
Katzen Art Center at American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20016
Co-sponsored by American Univeristy’s College of Arts and Sciences and National Museum of Women in the Arts.
About the Author: Carolanne Bonanno is NMWA’s communications and publishing intern.