Monday, October 8, 2012

Toronto Women’s Bookstore releases Border Crossings: An “Erotic” Affair? A collaborative book between women artists and writers that confronts and challenges issues of space around gender, culture, and race


by Michelle Ramalho

Tuesday October 2nd the Toronto Women’s Bookstore opened its doors for the book launch of Border Crossings: An “Erotic” Affair? edited by Pam Patterson. Funded by Cultural Pluralism and the Arts, University of Toronto Scarborough, the book deals with the complexity, ambivalence, and diversity behind ever-increasing issues of diaspora in our modern World.

Dina Georgis, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto ( M.A. (Philosophy of Education, OISE), Ph.D. (Women’s Studies, York University)) read an excerpt from  her Border Crossings chapter  Loss and Its Sign: Reflections on Vicky Moufawad-Paul’s Videography. Georgis’ writing beautifully conveys Moufawad-Paul’s work as a collection of memories that manifest to display the impact of “social and political contexts that have affected” the artist. She relates this to Moufawad-Paul's background - her father is Lebanese and her mother Palestinian. Georgis spoke to how Moufawad-Paul’s work is a result of looking into past events—especially those that are painful and difficult—in the search for her culture and herself.

Artist Meral Pasha also gave a presentation on her creation of, and reflections on, her recent body of work Limited Spaces. This series was created by layering photography, text, and drawing together. The construction of these images allows the viewer a glimpse into Pasha’s cultural, social, and gender experiences.  The audience was enthralled as Pasha displayed images of both completed and in-progress versions of the pieces and spoke not only to her technical, but also artistic thought processes behind the visual series. Before the end of the night Georgis and Pasah had engaged the audience in a discussion of the works as well as the social issues surrounding the exhibitions.   Georgis and Pasha answered and posited questions inviting in-depth discussion.

All images were photographed by Michelle Ramalho.