By Deb A.
After Senator Kamala Harris was accused of being hysterical for the (professional) way she questioned Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the world-renowned Strand Book Store posted a list of "strong feminist voices you need to listen to" under the title We Are Not Hysterical.
If you'd like feminist books like those delivered to your door every month you might want to keep an eye on the Card Carrying Books and Gifts Indiegogo page.
Enormous portraits of inspiring black women now grace the streets of London thanks to artist Neequaye Dreph Dsane and his You Are Enough series.
New York City will also look a little more interesting as of June 26th, when works by female artists will take the place of ad space on Lower East Side billboards thanks to SaveArtSpace.
Meanwhile, Emma Watson is up to her usual tricks: hiding feminist books around a major city. After leaving copies of Maya Angelou's Mom & Me & Mom around London and New York, she's now stashing The Handmaid's Tale in Parisian nooks and crannies.
Joanna Moorhead of The Guardian rightly asks: Why isn't Anna Atkins famous?
Shikha Sharma spotlights feminist Indian authors we should get to know for Youth Ki Awaaz.
Grace Meets Matisse: Coming to a NYC billboard soon. (via Elise R. Peterson)
By Deb A.
As the world's largest library and America's oldest federal cultural institution, the Library of Congress boasts over 164 million items stored on over 1300 kilometres of bookshelves. Its stated mission is to "document the history and further the creativity of the American people" and to ensure that its collections "record and contribute to the advancement of civilization and knowledge throughout the world." And this month the library has been particularly busy.
Welcome Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate
Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith has been named as the Library of Congress's 22nd poet laureate. She is the author of three books of poetry--The Body's Question, Duende, and Life on Mars--as well as a memoir, Ordinary Light. Her new post does not include any specific duties, but former poets laureate have attempted to popularize poetry beyond current audiences; in keeping with this tradition, Ms. Smith reports that she intends to hold poetry events in smaller towns, "where literary festivals don't always go".
Welcome to the web
It owns a Gutenberg bible and is now also home to lolcats. This week the Library of Congress launched two digital collections: The Web Cultures Archive and the Web Comics Archive. The former includes memes, GIFs, emojis and more in an effort to "help scholars 25 and 100 years from now have a fuller picture of the culture and life of people today," according to Elizabeth Peterson, director of the American Folklife Center. The Web Comics Archive is a natural extension of the library's comic book collection, which, with 135,000 issues, is the world's largest. It includes longstanding web comic classics such as XKCD alongside works by artists who are part of underrepresented groups, such as women, artists of colour and LGBTQ+ artists.
By Deb A.
Conserving contemporary art has become more and more complex as artists explore new materials. How does one preserve gum, chocolate, or dung for future generations? This week we look at a few art conservation challenges.
By Deb A.
The beaver, the loon, Céline Dion... all Canadian icons, all too expensive to commission as a six-storey inflatable landmark. And so, Canada will be celebrating its 150th birthday with a giant rubber duck.
It's not just any rubber duck. Rubber Duck was created by Florentijn Hofman, a Dutch artist known for enormous, playful outdoor installations (including the HippopoThames, which swam around in London in 2014). Various versions of the bird--which is visible from space--have turned up across Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States, but this will be its first visit to Canada. The world's largest rubber duck will float along the Ontario Waterfront as part of the Ontario 150 tour and the Redpath Waterfront Festival, which cannily encourages visitors to remember their selfie sticks.
So how does this very Instagrammable work speak to Canadian culture? In short, it doesn't. It fails to reference anything that is iconic to this nation of multiculturalism and maple syrup, and it wasn't even created by a Canadian. (Imagine, instead of a bright yellow duck lurking along the water, a hovering cloud of lightbulbs illuminating the evening, courtesy of Canadian artists Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett.)
The duck is family-friendly, eager to please, non-threatening, generally inoffensive... in essence, it's a yellow PVC-clad embodiment of the laziest Canuck stereotype. One can only hope it won't block the view of the compelling nine-metre inukshuk that already graces the shoreline.
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