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Women all over the world face hardship. This may occur through gender inequality at work, unequal rights, or the more coarse forms of rape, prostitution, abuse in the public sphere and house imprisonment. These situations are conveyed by many artists in the form of activism.

In this essay feminist manifestations from Brazil, Iran, Timor-Leste, India and Indonesia are presented to convey the universality of gender inequality through local examples. The works by the selected groups of artists express global claims towards equality and justice, while they constitute unconventional acts of activism for their application of local codes, stories and realities. These five women artists employ aspects from their social and local environs and in doing so, they make, deliver and discuss gender issues, thus enabling ‘glocal’ feminisms.

In the multitude of roles they play, artists personify how women may retreat to a world of dreams (Nasrin Saadat), publicly convey their discontent through hysterical performances (Fernanda Lago), or painfully address abuse (Maria Madeira) and fate (Leena Kejriwal). In other times, artists opt to reassess the condition of abused women as empowered beings (Lashita Situmorang).

In Arte e Género, Mulheres e Criação Artística, (Lisboa: Edições CIEBA, 2012), 150-161.

Access the full essay here.