Direct from Copenhagen, Denmark - 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference - (8 – 18 December '09)

Acting as the official High Tide COP15 envoy, distinguished ecological artist Aviva Rahmani will be immersing herself in the burgeoning eco-political activism in the city and sharing her experiences with us via this daily blog.

Why not get involved and join in dialogue with her? Log-on to share your views! This is the gathering storm…

Produced in association with FACT

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Guest Post from Gloria Orenstein

Reading your blog brought back so many memories to me of the Mid Decade Conference on Women that I attended there in 1980 . With artist Susan Schwalb,, we wrote a proposal to create THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF WOMEN ARTISTS, and we were funded by the U.S.. We held it in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek , and invited women artists such as Betsy Damon for performance art and Betye Saar, and many many others,too numerous to mention, from the NYC art scene. We also created a film festival of work by women and I coordinated some international women's readings. Present with us to participate in the readings were Audre Lorde, Robin Morgan, and Esther Broner. Susan and I shuttled between the Amager Center , the political happenings, and the Glyptotek, where the director even danced around Betsy Damon's installation. I spoke with Susan on the phone the other day, and I sent her your blog. She, too, was filled with memories of the excitement we all felt in Copenhagen that summer. She wanted me to remember the artist Karen Park, who died a few years ago. She gave a big reception/party for the artists., and was such a lovely woman. There were women's art shows all over the city---and big manifestations on the way to the UN. There were also panels about the femininst publishers (worldwide) that existed in 1980. Exchanges in manuscripts took place, and many contacts were made. Susan I reminisced about how---without any internet or even a computer, we got connected with women from everywhere who participated in this gathering. We worked in close collaboration a group of feminists in the arts in Copehagen, and THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF WOMEN ARTISTS turned out to be a great success. Some of the smaller shows, like the postcard show---where women could submit art the size of a postcard---(walls were filled with these amazing images)---small shows like that traveled to other venues. We loved Copenhagen, and I was particularly
impressed with the fact that my host family had five children, and the woman owned her own business--and could do that because of the Danish childcare system. When I fell in the rain, I experienced the Danish medical care system-the most beautiful treatment, and all free. I was living in a dream, and now , from this perspective, it really feels more like a miracle that we did all that without the trappings of today's tecno-savy world. If Copenhagen could speak, it would certainly have many tales to tell--and now some about your own experiences there as well. Our gathering had a lot of drama, fist-fights among feminist publishers, many other things---but it was so exciting to arrive there and find women from around the world involved in all the feminist arts. and politics. ( Susan Schwalb was the Arts Representative to the early Houston conference in 1975. ) The UN Mid-Decade Conference on Women was such a high. We feel so fortunate to have shared such momentous times together in Copenhagen with lovely dinners on the water. Enjoy your time there as well, and may the Tikkun happen over and over.

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