The theme of this fast-paced Thursday at Feminist Camp was ‘transforming creativity’.
The first stop was the Ms. Foundation offices in Brooklyn. We met Aizzah Fatima, a former Google employee turned writer and actress, developed a one-woman show called ‘”Dirty Paki Lingerie.” Using humor, she has hit back at anti-Pakistanti and anti-Muslim bias and presented a wider lens of what it means to be a Muslim woman. Aizzah shared copies of her screenplay with all of us and we are so grateful to her generosity of spirit.
Next to join us at the Ms. Foundation table was Bridgett Davis, CUNY Baruch professor and author of the most acclaimed feminist books of the summer, Into the Go-Slow, filled us in on her career trajectory from a working class Spelman student to a writer and filmmaker. She facilitated a rousing discussion on the intersections of feminism that got us all expressing emotion and getting to the heart of what drew us individually and collectively to feminism.
After a yummy lunch, we headed over to LAVA, an award-winning troupe of 8 women who perform acrobatic and feminist feats in NYC and nationally. Terms Feminist Campers used to describe their experience in the LAVA studio included hope, strength and motivation. One Feminist Camper commented, “I thought the speaker was very in tune with body positivity and how important it is to feminism. I thought she was encouraging. The activities were pretty fun, felt good to do some movement and play and not have someone just talk at us. It was a good group bonding activity as well.”
The afternoon at the Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum was a chance to see an icon of feminist art, Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Pary. The triangular ceremonial banquet is comprised of thirty-nine place settings plus 999 names carved as well. Seeing this exhibit together gave us a chance to ponder both the historical significance of feminism and where it stands today, more inclusive and just as challenging of the status quo.
That evening a great number of us celebrated at the annual gala of The Sex Workers Project, part of the Urban Justice Center, which is committed to advancing the rights of sex workers and survivors of trafficking. We got to hear firsthand from the people who support some of the most vulnerable populations in the country to assert their agency and dignity.
Ebony Murphy-Root is a University of Connecticut alumna who will join the English faculty at Thacher School in Ojai, California. Last year she served on the National Organization for Women New York City (NOW-NYC) 2014 Activist Alliance, an energetic troop of emerging feminist leaders. Ebony is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale and has served on the boards of The Hartford Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens, The Cove Center for Grieving Children and the Greenwich Academy Alumnae Association.