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Cross Talk: A Multicultural Feminist Symposium: The Invisible Hand of Censorship

Public Programs

Cross Talk: A Multicultural Feminist Symposium: The Invisible Hand of Censorship

June 6 1993

Cross Talk: A Multicultural Feminist Symposium addressed the entangled questions of race, gender and sexuality, and brought together a wide range of activists, artists, and cultural critics who energetically fought against racism and sexism in cultural institutions, educational programs, medical practices, and the legal system. Rather than recreate a set of neat oppositions–black versus white, Latino versus Anglo – Cross Talk charted the overlapping and contradictory worlds inhabited by diverse communities.1

This panel explored how multicultural feminist issues had entered into cultural and educational institutions; however, the debates around sexism and racism had usually remained framed by homogeneous and fixed concepts of identity.  Further, it discussed how the remedies were often superficial, such as allocating ‘special slots’ for ‘colorful’ cultures in curricula or exhibitions.  The panel asked, “How have women of color challenged the daily ‘burden of representation,’ of being perceived as walking allegories ‘speaking as’ Native Americans, African Americans, etc.?  How have feminist artists, journalists, filmmakers, and musicians negotiated the conflicting pressures exerted by various community expectations and institutional contexts, resisting both censorship and self-censorship, and allowing their work to ‘talk
back’ through reflexive and subversive strategies?”2

Shu Lea Cheang: media artist and filmmaker.
Janet Henry: visual artist and former program associate at the New York State Council on the Arts, and working member of WAV’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
Maria Hinojosa: award-winning journalist and staff reporter for National Public Radio.
Jolene Rickard: artist, lecturer, curator, and writer on Native American issues.
Tricia Rose: critic of contemporary culture and politics, teacher of African Studies and History at New York University.

Moderator: Mallika Dutt, lawyer and activist.