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Women Made Visible
Dr. Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda Publishes New Book
Woman Made Visible: Feminist Art and Media in Post-1968 Mexico City
Dr. Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda’s teaches popular undergraduate SIAT courses that include IAT 100- Digital Image Design and IAT 206- Media Across Cultures. She also is the creator of video and sculptural installations that have been exhibited internationally, including in Mexico, France, India and Chile. Her research bridges the histories of art, media, and technology with gender and women studies, as well as art and design practice. What you may not be familiar with is that she is also a prolific author. Dr. Aceves Sepúlveda’s latest work Women Made Visible: Feminist Art and Media in post-1968 Mexico was recently published by the University of Nebraska Press (see official release for more details).
In her book, Dr. Aceves Sepúlveda focuses on a movement of artists and feminist activists that emerged from a post-1968 Mexico. That year saw the Olympics held in Mexico City but also the manifestation of domestic political discontent similar to that witnessed in Prague, Paris, Chicago and a host of other cities.
At the same time, a group of Mexican artists and feminist activists began to question how feminine bodies were visually constructed and politicized across media. Participation of women was increasing in the public sphere, and the exclusive emphasis on written culture was giving way to audio-visual communications. Motivated by a desire for self-representation both visually and in politics, female artists and activists transformed existing regimes of media and visuality.
Women Made Visible by Gabriela Aceves Sepúlveda uses a transnational and interdisciplinary lens to analyze the fundamental and overlooked role played by artists and feminist activists in changing the ways female bodies were viewed and appropriated. Through their concern for self-representation (both visually and in formal politics), these women played a crucial role in transforming existing regimes of media and visuality—increasingly important intellectual spheres of action.
Focusing on the performative and visual work of female artists, rather than written, interventions in urban space in Mexico City, Aceves Sepúlveda demonstrates that these women feminized Mexico’s mediascapes and shaped the debates over the female body, gender difference, and sexual violence during the last decades of the twentieth century.
The author skilfully weaves together the practices of activists, filmmakers, visual artists, videographers, and photographers to question the disciplinary boundaries that have historically undermined the practices of female artists and activists and locates the development of Mexican second-wave feminism as a meaningful actor in the contested political spaces of the era, both in Mexico City and internationally.