By Samantha Flores & Janet Martinez |Staff Writers|
The Guerrilla Girls have come to CSUSB to display, challenge, and discuss the role of gender and inequality within the fine arts.
The group of masked women devote themselves to represent women artists and create opportunities for their art to be displayed.
They do not use their real names. Instead, they use names of dead artists to protect their identity and stay anonymous along with the gorilla masks they use.
One of the purposes for wearing the “masks” is that they separate their real life and the organization.
“I am so happy that RAFFMA was able to bring this important exhibition and with it the opportunity to hear from champions of social change, the Guerrilla Girls themselves,” said Dr. Terry Ballman, Dean of College of Arts & Letters.
The Guerrilla Girls demonstrated their sense of humor by passing out some bananas to the audience. They wanted to set the atmosphere by breaking the ice and getting the audience used to the gorilla masks.
“Humor works for us. It lets us twist an issue around and present it in a way that hasn’t been seen before,” stated Käthe Kollwitz. “If you can make someone laugh, you have a unique way into their brain, and can hopefully change their minds about issues.”
Representatives Käthe Kollwitz and Shigeko Kubota, utilizing the names of past women artists, came to speak to fellow students and community about what they stand for and how they have been progressing for more than 30 years.
According to the panel, the Guerrilla Girls have been fighting the battle of exposing gender and ethics bias for 32 years now and will continue to do so until there is equality in the art world.
During their presentation, they discussed some of their published books about the history of what men thought was best for a woman’s body and health.
The feminist activist group speaks all-around the world and has done many street projects, posters, and stickers that you may have seen.
“I feel feminism now is an important matter in our society and how it is displayed and learned throughout American schooling. Once hearing this, and recognizing that this is true, it made me wonder why certain things in life are so biased,” said student Melissa Johnson.
The invigorating speech left many with the knowledge of the unequal system that many undermine.
“There is no better place to make trouble than a college campus, which provides encouragement to stand up for what one believes,” said Kollwitz.
They spoke to students in forensics communication professor Amy Wassing’s Gender, Race, & Media classroom and had the opportunity to discuss issues with them.
They analyzed Barbie as an example for discussion of and what she represents.
“The ability to make connections to concepts that are discussed in our classrooms makes this a special experience for our fellow students,” said ASI Vice President Quin Kochman.
The Guerrilla Girls have made these issues more accessible and understandable to students studying feminism.
“In the text, we are just skimming the surface of feminism, but what the Guerrilla Girls brought to our classroom serves as an application to the students that this is happening in real life,” said Wassing.
After the event, the Guerrilla Girls met at the museum for a meet and greet with the attendees.