Apr 29, 2022
I had the opportunity to bring the Women’s Rights Are Human Rights International Poster Exhibition curated by Elizabeth Resnick to ETSU’s Reece Museum and Slocumb Galleries.
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights is a very fitting title for an exhibition of women’s rights and advocacy posters, as it is a term used in the women’s rights movement and was the title of an important speech given by Hillary Rodham Clinton at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. In her address, Hillary Clinton suggests that “if the term women’s rights were to be interchangeable with the term human rights, the world community would be a better place because human rights affect the women who raise the world’s children, care for the elderly, run companies, work in hospitals, fight for better education and better health care.”
Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every society. Women lack access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage disparities. Women are often denied access to primary education and health care, suffer from violence and discrimination, and are under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes.
This exhibition features posters created by both men and women to celebrate and acknowledge the vital role that all citizens should play in protecting and promoting human rights while actively challenging gender inequality and stereotypes, advancing sexual and reproductive rights, and protecting women and girls against brutality. In their collective visual voice, these posters promote women’s empowerment and participation in society while challenging religious and cultural norms and patriarchal attitudes that subordinate, stigmatize or restrict women from achieving their fullest potential.
Organized and curated by Elizabeth Resnick, Professor Emerita, Graphic Design, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston.
This exhibition is being presented in partnership with the 2022 UCDA Design Education Summit. This national summit for design educators, chairs, and students, brings together a community of graphic design educators with opportunities for professional development.
A roundtable discussion was organized and activated around thematic issues explored within the exhibition, Women’s Rights Are Human Rights. These discussions will serve to elevate critical work on equity issues by ETSU scholars. These discussions aim to engage the ETSU faculty, students, and community in critical discourse around these social and cultural topics.
A roundtable discussion was organized and activated around thematic issues explored within the exhibition, Women’s Rights Are Human Rights. These discussions serve to elevate critical work on equity issues by ETSU scholars. These discussions aim to engage the ETSU faculty, students, and community in the critical discourse around these social and cultural topics.
As part of the exhibition opening, the ETSU Department of Art & Design held our first Diverse Discussions round table confronting the questions raised by the exhibition. Diverse Discussions acknowledges dialogue is a vital function of the visual arts. Artists and designers create works that expose, challenge, and confront social or cultural systems. These systems define the individual lived experience but are built upon the complex intersections of the human condition. To explore this complexity, scholars across ETSU shared their expertise and engaged in a dialogue inspired by the visual arts. Thank you to my ETSU colleagues: Martha Copp, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology; Julia Dodd, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology; Heidi Marsh, Executive Aide and faculty for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Chelsea R. Wessels, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English; and Brittany Wilkins, Ph.D., Associate Professor for sharing their expertise during this great event. Stay tuned for more Diverse Discussions in the future at ETSU.
This exhibition and event were sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences Office of Equity & Inclusion, the Department of Art & Design, the Black American Studies Program, and the Reece Museum.