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NMSU Feminist Border Arts Film Festival retrospective Oct. 24-25

Two New Mexico State University gender and sexuality studies professors and creators of the Feminist Border Arts Film Festival were invited to recap five years’ worth of their work in a two-hour retrospective program of short films and video art in collaboration with 516 ARTS, a non-collecting, contemporary art museum located in Albuquerque.


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(From front to back) Laura Anh Williams and M. Catherine Jonet, associate professors of gender and sexuality studies and curators of Feminist Border Arts Film Festival. (Courtesy photo)
Woman and child smiling
A film still from "So Far from Kabul," directed by Joel Cartaxo Anjos, follows the story of exiled Afghan child star Marina Gulbahari, and her and her daughters. The film is among those to be featured at NMSU’s Feminist Border Arts Film Festival’s “Retrospective in Feminisms,” virtual video art exhibit Oct 24-25 hosted by 516 ARTS. (Courtesy Photo).
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The film poster from “The Etiquette of American Massacres,” directed by Alexandria Searls. The film is among those to be featured at NMSU’s Feminist Border Arts Film Festival’s “Retrospective in Feminisms,” virtual video art exhibit Oct 24-25 hosted by 516 ARTS. (Courtesy Photo).

The Feminist Border Arts Film Festival’s exhibit, “Retrospective in Feminisms,” will be featured alongside 516 ARTS current exhibit, “Feminisms,” for one weekend only, Oct. 24-25. Tickets cost $10 for access to the films for the entire weekend, which will be shown via FilmIndie.tv in an arrangement with 516 ARTS and the Guild Cinema in Albuquerque.

The festival of short films was created five years ago to expose audiences to perspectives and narratives that grapple with urgent social issues and questions of identity and representation, films that audiences might not otherwise have access to or even know they exist. The festival has reviewed more than 10,000 short films and video art pieces over that time. Jonet and Williams selected 17 films to represent the festival in “Retrospective in Feminisms.”

“The process involved seriously digging into our archives and reconsidering all of them because culture, like time, is always moving and changing,” Jonet said. “We zeroed in on films that open doors, that raise questions, that challenge preconceived notions.”

The festival features shorts that explore topics connected to gender identity, sexuality, race and other social justice perspectives and experiences.

Jonet and Williams hope viewers of the films can gain a greater perspective about feminism. “Feminisms, as a set of relations and as a knowledge project, are a handbook for living; a roadmap to more equitable, just, and sustainable futures for everybody, especially for those who are marginalized and underrecognized,” Williams said.

The retrospective will also include a short created by Jonet and Williams. “When 516 ARTS invited us to this retrospective we were beyond thrilled and jumped at the opportunity to produce a video piece representing our work in the form of a short film,” Jonet said. “As the description of our short film “Speak Near” says, ‘Feminist Border Arts — a university-based humanities and arts project merging research-creation and film curation— interrogates and traverses gaps between academia, artist, public culture and self.”

In the future, Jonet and Williams hope to create an academic concentration in interdisciplinary creativity and curation at NMSU for students to learn more about ethical approaches to artistic production and incorporating social awareness with imagination.

“Feminist world-making is how we characterize our contribution to this endeavor. We, as a society, need to put more energy into rethinking our current systems and ideals to better sustain and enrich life in this country and on this earth.” Williams said.

To purchase tickets and learn more, visit http://516arts.org/.