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In this exhibition, gender meets climate activism. It’s a lot

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

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🗞️ Driving the news: "Re/Sisters: A Lens on Gender and Ecology" is the latest exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery; it dives deep into the realm of "ecofeminism," highlighting the intricate connection between gender oppression and environmental degradation

🔭 The context: Barbara Kruger's 1983 piece, "Untitled (We won’t play nature to your culture)," which juxtaposes nature with culture and challenges binary thinking, became the inaugural showcase for the exhibition
• This sentiment is particularly relevant today, with 2023 on the cusp of becoming the hottest year ever recorded and with increasing evidence that women and girls are disproportionately impacted by climate change

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: As the climate crisis escalates, understanding the intertwined narratives of gender and environment becomes paramount
• The exhibition offers a varied exploration of identity, feminism, art, and climate activism, albeit with an inclusivity that sometimes risks diluting its more potent messages

⏭️ What's next: The exhibition showcases a range of works, from Simryn Gill's photographic insights on the environmental scars of industry to the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp's documentation and Ana Mendieta’s unique interaction with nature
• Yet, despite its diverse representation, the challenge remains: how can art institutions meaningfully engage in ecofeminism without merely checking boxes?

💬 One quote: "Re/Sisters makes clear what ecofeminist art and artists can do — and have done — to confront norms, but what art institutions can do remains murky" (Emily LaBarge, art critic)

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