Herstory Month keynote speaker to discuss rape culture

Herstory Month keynote speaker to discuss rape culture

Katlin Sweeney, Editor-in-Chief

After a month of lectures, workshops and informational sessions about women’s rights and issues, this year’s Herstory Month at CSUSM will culminate with a two-part presentation by artist and political poster designer Favianna Rodriguez.

Rodriguez will give her keynote lecture entitled “The Pussy Power Imaginary: How Art Can Shift Politics & Stop Rape Culture” at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 29 in the USU Ballroom. At 5:30 p.m., she will lead attendees in a poster-making workshop, also in the USU Ballroom. Each presentation will deal with a different facet of art as activism and challenging rape culture.

“During the lecture, I will speak about my art, my work and why I talk about pussy power,” Rodriguez said. “It will be a great, juicy conversation for everyone, not just those who have pussies. Learning about pussy power means ending rape culture and working to promote a sexually healthy culture. By also attending the workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to learn how I make posters and will have the chance to make their own.”

Rodriguez, who considers her art and activism intersectional, typically focuses on topics such as migration, patriarchy, economic injustice and gender injustice in her work. She said that the artwork she does primarily focuses on experiences of women/people of color.

“I think all art is intersectional because all art reflects life and life is not in neat categories,” Rodriguez said. “… I really make art about life and it’s not about political issues — just life. In art, we have been taught to accept that the main narrative is about white men or white people, so the fact that I don’t make art about them and [choose to] make it about people I grew up with [and] women of color does not mean it is automatically a political issue.”

Rodriguez said that her goal for the lecture and workshop is that attendees feel empowered to challenge mainstream ideas about sex and activism and learn strategies for using art as a medium to do this.

“I would like attendees to come with an open mind and to see this as an opportunity to rethink ideas about social justice, sexuality and art while also having fun.”