Thursday, April 12, 2012

Universos Diversos: A Dialogue on Gender that Builds our Community

By Martin Calix, OYE Volunteer from Honduras and Writer

Reflections on Gender Equality after the artistic exhibition by the Center for Women's Rights (Centro de los Derechos de la Mujer, CDM) and their project, Universos Diversos.

Exhibition at OYE on Gender Equality by Universos Diversos (Martin Calix)

With the clear intention of breaking of the cultural codes of our society today, women artists in Honduras are contributing to the great struggle for equality between genders. This time, these voices have come from a project that advances the subject, Universos Diversos (Diverse Universes), which brings women and their artwork in the spotlight.

Artistic piece displayed at OYE (Calix)
Universos Diversos emerges as a project that appears as a process rather than as something ephemeral. Initially, the sexual and reproductive rights of women were the main themes and included artistic work and a series of workshops that address these and other issues that affect women.

From the points of view of individual participants in the formulation of collective concepts, up to the creation of artwork, the project is a fascinating and multidisciplinary process that reveals the diversity of feminist thought.

The project ​​generates a process for developing awareness of the creativity of women in the art world.  Until true equality materializes, however, these efforts alone will not suffice.

Monologue performed at OYE in March 2012 (Calix)
I do not mean to discredit Universos Diversos. I believe it is a noble initiative, raising awareness about the problem of violence against women and femicide, revealing the atrocious conditions that many women live through, always respecting their anonymity.

My question is whether art is a necessary tool to raise awareness. In actuality it is only the starting point. What these artists hope will happen in society cannot be accomplished by women's efforts alone. This is when men too need to stand up and take part in the movement, advocating for gender equality.

Aristic piece on display at OYE in March 2012 (Calix)
From the debate that Universos Diversos has generated, it has become evident that humanity's machismo has blinded us for thousands of years. That is why we are still debating the topic of gender equality to this day.

But for how much longer will we need to debate? When will we as humans finally get it right?

For more information, see Martin Calix's blog

Interpretive dance performance at OYE in March 2012 (Calix)
Photography of toy dolls (Calix)

OYE youth engaging in the artistic exhibition

1 comment:

La Misionera said...

I love this work. I work as a Prevention & Education Specialist in a Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency in the US. In the past year I have started a program called Mujeres Transformando Vidas for the Spanish-speaking women in our community. We have had over 200 participants in 8 months. I have been working in Honduras for the last 10 years each summer and would love to do violence prevention work in Honduras. Let me know if you are ever looking for someone to help with this effort in El Progresso.