Feminist Camp Summer 2016 // Day Five: Music, Art, and Thoughts before We Depart
On our last day of camp, we delved into feminist music and art. No truer way to mark our final morning NYC commute than significant delays on the subway as we tried to leave Manhattan for Brooklyn! Upon our arrival to her studio, we spoke with Anastasia Higginbotham, who communicates and creates meaning through art. In her writing and designing children’s books, she aims to be honest and provide kids with a medium for understanding what they feel. As portrayed in her art made on grocery bag paper, Higginbottom stressed the importance of working with what one has and making beauty out of anything.
Writer, educator, and visual artist Elise Peterson kept the creative vibes flowing as she shared how she came to be making digital collages and pursuing other artistic endeavors. Through her art, she aims to change the pervading narrative about marginalized people. Sexuality has been core to her work, and she described its ever prevalent presence in people’s desires, trauma, and power exchanges. Her story lead campers to realize that life’s path is not linear and involves searching for our platform to effect change.
For our last formal meal as campers, we lunched on Thai, and the Soapbox team said some goodbyes and reflected on our time here and the community of which we came a part. We then sat down with our final badass feminist creative person we sat down with for the day, Mindy Abovitz, founder of the world’s only magazine for female drummers, Tom Tom. Through drumming, Abovitz and other women demand space using volume and sound and can be unapologetically loud. Driven by anger resulting from assumptions about her capabilities, Abovitz works to make space for other marginalized identities in music. In parting, she encouraged us to call out injustice when we witness it.
Finally, we went to the Brooklyn Museum, where we toured the Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Works of focus included Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, a triangular table with plate settings for famous women in history, and Agitprop!, an exhibit portraying social justice activism through art. Campers also viewed exhibits on contemporary art by people of color and one on African masquerade.
In our last night, campers saw, dined, and experienced the last New York spots we had been yearning to see. Though many felt sadness to be physically leaving the camp and the space we created, we also felt eager to bring what we learned back to our communities. As we return to our summer residences and destinations, ideas churn in our minds, and we think about how we can make an impact and make Feminist Camp live on wherever we go.