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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

WORLD BOOK DAY, NEW, INC., FEARLESS GIRL, and upcoming tours to LA and PAMONA!

April 18, 2017

Sunday April 23 is World Book Day! With Guerrilla Girls On Tour’s new foray into the world of books, we hope you will join us as we share why we #LoveToRead. From April 17 to the 23 post about why you #LoveToRead on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Share them here:

All week we will be posting about women authors and updates re UN/MASKED, Memoirs of aGuerrilla Girl On Tour by Aphra Behn


WEST COAST TOUR COMING UP:  Act Like a FeministArtist – A Guerrilla Girl Unmasks” at Cal Poly Pomona – May 3, 2017 at 3PM. Also check our FB page for an update about appearances in LA.
 

NEWS from our lunch at NEW,INC.!
On Friday, April 7th, Aphra Behn joined artist, Sophia Wallace, for an informal talk with the members of NEW, INC.,
founded by the New Museum in 2014 and the first museum-led cultural incubator dedicated to supporting innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship across art, design, and technology. Aphra shared the Guerrilla Girls On Tour’s tactics and herstory with members and mentors of NEW, INC. over lunch including a show-and-tell of the last remaining Guerrilla Girls “Spy Kit” – part of the Guerrilla Girls contribution to the 1999 New Museum’s exhibit UBRAN ENCOUNTERS. The GG “Spy Kit” included projects directed at the theatre world, i.e. a postcard to the  Roundabout Theatre suggesting they must be incredibly embarrassed about their lack of knowledge of women playwrights (because they did not produce any!) FYI, The Roundabout’s record on producing women lags far behind the rest of NYC theatres – out of 9 current plays only two are by women and only one is on their main stage. Sticker campaign anyone?

Guerrilla Girls' SPY KIT for URBAN ENCOUNTERS at the NEW MUSEUM 
The artist, Sophia Wallace, was Aphra’s co-presenter and her presentation of the evolution of her work was amazing, especially her Cliteracy Project. Please check out her web site for info on her and her work. You can watch her TEDx talk here: http://www.sophiawallace.com/tedx

Sophia Wallace and Aphra Behn
√ 

We feel the need to comment on Fearless Girlthe bronze sculpture by Kristen Visbal depicting a girl facing the well-known Charging Bull statue in the Financial District of Manhattan. Fearless Girl was commissioned on the first anniversary of State Street Global’s “Gender Diversity Index” fund, which has SHE as it’s NASDAQ ticker symbol. Next to Fearless Girl is a bronze plaque that reads: Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference. Yes, “SHE” makes a difference not “She” makes a difference. The statue’s placement was an advertisement for SHE. In the weeks that followed Fearless Girl’s installation, the sculptor of the “Charging Bull” statue (Arturo Di Modica) came out to insist she be removed because her presence changes the original intent of the bronze bull. An article by Greg Fallis supports Di Modica’s charge because, as he states in his blog post, Fearless Girl has appropriated the strength and power of Charging Bull.



Well…Fearless Girl may not have started as a work of guerrilla art...it is what it has become. Fallis writes "If it were placed anywhere else, Fearless Girl would still be a very fine statue — but without facing Charging Bull the Fearless Girl has nothing to be fearless to."  Um….yes she does -- Trump, the world, patriarchy are three I can think of off the top of my head. Fearless Girl is facing the symbol of a charging bull and that is what many women feel as thought they have been facing forever. I disagree she has nothing to be fearless to without the bull. She represents the attitude women have adopted to exist. Fearless Girl is a work of art that has morphed from her original intent - it is sort of cool how that happened. And for this reason, if you move her, she will still represent the same thing to many. So go ahead. We will remain inspired by her!

Until next time! Thank you for reading.

Love, Aphra Behn

Thursday, March 30, 2017

ACT LIKE A FEMINIST ARTIST in ARIZONA

Happy Women’s History Month!

March took the “UN/MASKED” tour to Flagstaff Arizona and the annual Women’s Conference at Northern Arizona University where I presented “ActLike a Feminist Artist – A Guerrilla Girl Unmasks.”

This checks Arizona off Guerrilla Girls On Tour’s US State list – we have now been to every state except Mississippi and Alaska.  (Head ups, all Mississippians and Alaskan feminists out there.)

San Francisco Peaks 

If you have never done it, drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff.  The drive takes about two hours and is a gradual gain of 6000 feet of elevation. The saguaro cacti of Phoenix give way as you come over a steep rise and the Bradshaw Mountains appear in the west. On the descent into Verde Valley the snow capped San Francisco peaks come into sight as well as the red rocks of Sedona. Gorgeous.


The NAU Women’s Conference is coordinated by the Associated Students for Women’s Issues and is well attended by the diverse and curious make up of NAU’s faculty and students. Over 100 people assembled in the auditorium of NAU’s Cline Library (one of the largest campus libraries I have ever been in). The stage was set with the traditional Guerrilla Girls On Tour props – water and bananas.  Since I was contractually not allowed to throw the bananas, one savvy theatre major in the third row offered to throw them for me. Thanks a bunch.   


My talk, “Act Like a Feminist Artist” has been morphing into a motivational lecture and the response to this new version was suburb. Kudos to that same theatre major for asking about how to “queer up” the theatre world.  Answer: Look for theatre companies that are already queering it up and go work with them. Example:  Oregon Shakespeare Festival which for the first time in their herstory will present 6 plays by women and a same sex couples version of “Oklahoma.” Then, continue to make the theatre you make and be prepared to endure for the long haul.


How does one act like a feminist artist, you might ask? Well, begin by embracing the truth. The Truth is the heart of good art and good activism. Artists are truth tellers.  We live in a world that is made up of facts and reality. These days, facts and reality are constantly challenged. So accept that there is a long road ahead. Be physically, mentally and emotionally strong. Workout, read, do yoga, drink tea, eat bananas, pour yourself a glass of wine - whatever it takes. Then, make sure you gather evidence. Do the GGOT 10-minute research technique – when you go to a gallery or museum count how many works by women they are presenting. This evidence is your weapon. Use it in your art.

For more tips on how to act like a feminist artist sign up for this blog. 

Thank you to all the fabulous feminists of Arizona who came to hear me speak.  Until we meet again.

LOVE,

Sunday, March 12, 2017

LOPATE, BROAD DESIGNS, BROCKPORT, BARNES and NOBLE

Updates from Aphra Behn and the book tour of “UN/MASKED, Memoirs of aGuerrilla Girl On Tour

Late February was cold and snowy in Manhattan but the news that I would be interviewed on the Leonard Lopate Show brought warmth. My fabulous indie publicist, Michelle Blankenship, accompanied me to the WNYC offices in lower Manhattan. 

With Michelle Blankenship
Armed with my rubber gorilla mask and a banana for Leonard I entered the studio. Lopate immediately took the banana from my hand and tried to talk into it. That put me right at ease. My 20 minute interview flew by. A great conversationalist, Lopate has the knack to flip topics as quickly as the GOP offers up changes to Obamacare. We talked not only on air but before and after the interview.


My favorite subjects were rubber masks, sticker campaigns and getting the opportunity to decry the current lack of plays by women on Broadway.  But do not despair as works by Paula Vogel and Lynn Nottage are coming soon.  Leonard doesn’t say goodbye – his producer has to come in and let him know time is up. Listen to my interview HERE

On the Leonard Lopate Show











February also brought me new friends from down under – the wonderful feminists of the Australian radio show on feminism and design - BROAD DESIGNS - broadcast on  JOY 94.9.  

Jane Connory and Sonja Hammer of BROAD DESIGNS
The funny and sharp (and mask wearing!) Jane Connory and Sonja Hammer talked with me via phone for a broadcast which aired on International Women’s Day.  LISTEN HERE: 

As some of you know, in my book I describe my journey to identifying as a feminist. It was a BOOK that brought me to feminism – “OurBodies, Ourselves” which I picked up at the Main Street Bookstore in Brockport New York, my sophomore year in college.  This week I was featured in the Brockport Alum spotlight. Read it here: 


If you have not been to a new Barnes and Noble lately check them out. Some of the new stores now have a very comfortable and welcoming area as you walk into the store where wine, beer, hot drinks and food are served. Settle down with a donut and a cup of joe as you flip through your favorite newspaper. I was the first author booked to read at the B & N inEastchester - or I should say their first writer who wrote for adults.  Thank you Barnes and Nobel for making your bookstore a place you can spend hours in.
UN/MASKED display at Barnes and Noble Eastchester 
NEXT! The IDES OF MARCH - Aphra Behn mails postcards to Trump and talks on the LIVING WELL SHOW, March 15, 2017.

I will be at Northern Arizona University with ACT LIKE AFEMINIST ARTIST on March 25 at 2PM.  – if you are in the area please attend.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Venus Theatre Lifetime Achievement Award


Deb Randall of Venus Theatre with Aphra Behn 

On February 7, 2017 Aphra Behn presented "Act Like a Feminist Artist" at Venus Theatre in Laurel, MD.  Venus awarded Aphra with their Lifetime Achievement Award. 


DC NOW was a co-sponsor of the evening.

Aphra made a short speech. 
Here is what she really wanted to say....

Dear Deb Randall and Venus Theatre,
I applaud you for keeping the voices of women alive for so many years. I salute your bravery in producing season after season of work by women. I admire your perseverance, your style, your grace. I acknowledge your struggle and the struggle of all the women who have gone before you and remain behind via the love that refuses to die. I promise to keep fighting, to keep enduring and to keep advocating on behalf of women in theatre.  We are theatre. We are.




THANK YOU VENUS

Monday, February 20, 2017

In case you missed it...

The past month in GUERRILLA news: live lectures, taped radio shows and sit down interviews. They go by in the blink of an eye and so we would like to post some of the past month's highlights for your listening and viewing pleasure. 

In no particular order they are:

ACT LIKE A FEMINIST ARTIST - Aphra Behn's talk coupled with readings from UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour was at the New York Society Library in January. View it here:






We had the pleasure of being introduced to two artists from the Blue Scarf Collective -  Sarah Klein, a filmaker and painter and Sherry Beth Sacks, a painter. 
The Blue Scarf Collective is a very cool collection of artists with this mission:  
We believe that art can and should be used to promote social justice, change, and empowerment — especially for the disenfranchised. We want to disrupt common misconceptions about feminism. We believe that the act of creating is the act of owning one's own experience. We like to get our hands dirty. 

Find the Guerrilla interview with Blue Scarf here: 





Early February brought snow to New York City but Rob Watson of RATED LGBT RADIO and his co-host, Bash, on OUT IN SANTA CRUZ warmed our hearts. 

LGBT Radio focuses on events impacting the Northern California community while OUT in SANTA CRUZ is a local talk show discussing views from the LGBTQ perspective.

LISTEN:




  
Last but not least here is Margot Cherrid's January interview (in FRENCH) on the tv5Monde feminist page, Terriennes! Les Guerrilla Girls à l’assaut d’un art « sexiste et dominé par les hommes blancs » - TV5MONDE ]





Aphra and Margot in London 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

BITCH and BUST and Memoirs of A Guerrilla Girl On Tour


BITCH and BUST review "UN/MASKED" 

Happy V DAY Feminists!

We heart BITCH and BUST magazines for heartfelt reviews of "UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour"

Here is part of Allison McCarthy's review in the Chaos Issue (Jan 2017) of BITCH

UN/MASKED: MEMOIRS OF A GUERRILLA GIRLON TOUR by Donna Kaz
{Skyhorse Publishing}

"As a freshman in college, I saw a performance of the Guerrilla Girls on campus.
I remember the charge in the air among women’s studies undergrads sitting toe-to-toe
in the amphitheater as we listened to the impassioned language of these women—in
an effort to preserve anonymity, they all wore furry gorilla masks and used pseudonyms
drawn from female artists such as Eva Hesse, Frida Kahlo, and Hannah Höch—
speaking on discrimination in the art world and their efforts to combat the lack of representation through direct action.

UN/MASKED: Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour brought me back to the excitement and sense of possibility created that night, all through writer Donna Kaz’s vivid, unsparing recollections of her years (1995–2012) with the feminist activist and artist collective. Kaz applies in 1995 and learns the Guerrilla Girls are seeking “new and energetic members… who can bounce the Girls into a future where when people talk about art they also talk about gender parity for playwrights.” As a playwright in New York City, Kaz had learned about the group when a friend shared a copy of the book Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls. After several enthusiastic re-readings, Kaz imagines a new direction for the group that has taken the art world by storm with their statistics on the absurdly low representation of women and people of color in the Museum of Modern Art: “I envision an attack on sexism in the theatre world….What a coup it would be to name the theatres that do not produce women playwrights or plays by writers of color. How cool to prove bus companies are more inclusive in their hiring practices than
theatres are.”

For more visit BITCH Media

And BUST gave "UN/MASKED" a 5 Breast Review!  Here's a sneak look: 






For more of BUST click here 

GO BANANAS!  





Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Review of UN/MASKED by Sarah Downs on The Front Row Center

It has been eleven weeks since Skyhorse published 

Thanks to everyone who has read the book and posted a review on Amazon or Goodreads!  If you are thinking of purchasing UN/MASKED, read what Sarah Downs wrote on THE FRONT ROW CENTER :


In a fresh, easy style (Kaz) leads us on her journey of discovery, loss and redemption.  With humor and a distinct lack of self-pity, she retells the history of a life on the verge, a career derailed, and ultimately one of success.  She is no weak sister.  Alternating scenes from her recent life as a writer with the story of her early years and her time in Hollywood, Kaz evokes the past and present at once, meeting herself in the middle.   We meet her as she is today – successful playwright and Guerrilla Girl, but also as she was as a naïve young woman searching for her unique identity.  When she turns from her own career to follow her man to Hollywood, Kaz loses herself, overshadowed by her glamorous, imposing lover with his outsize ego and outsize capacity for violence.  She sacrifices her own career as she is drawn into a life of domestic abuse, with its revolving door of beatings and passionate rapprochements.  It is only after she ‘escapes’ the prison of this destructive love affair that she rediscovers her love of writing and so reclaims her life.

Throughout this memoir, Kaz collapses the various layers of her life – thwarted actress, budding writer, latent activist, undiscovered feminist – to step out from behind the mask of her personal history.  She declares: I’m still here and I like it.  And I’m not going away.
*  Aphra Behn, 17th century British playwright, poet, translator and author.

Read the entire review here: http://thefrontrowcenter.com/2017/01/book-review-unmasked-memoirs-guerrilla-girl-tour/

If you subscribe to BITCH magazine you can read what Allison McCarthy said in the January Issue: - https://bitchmedia.org/issue/73



I will be posting photos of the Women's March NYC in the next few days.

- Aphra Behn, Guerrilla Girls On Tour


 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Donald Trump asks Guerrilla Girls On Tour to read a poem at his inauguration

Donald Trump risks being upstaged by over-acting theatre artists, Guerrilla Girls On Tour, but offered us the opportunity to read a poem on Friday, January 20th at his inauguration. As Steve Harvey says, when the president elect calls, you answer!