What might be revealed in the process of inviting strangers to act out and respond to 1970s feminism forty years later? Between 2015 and 2017, hundreds of strangers in communities all over the US were invited to read aloud and respond to letters from the '70s sent to the editor of Ms. Magazine – the first mainstream feminist magazine in the US. The intimate, provocative, and sometimes heartbreaking conversations that emerge from these spontaneous performances make us think critically about the past, present, and future of feminism. Yours in Sisterhood is a collective portrait of feminism now and forty years ago that is newly urgent in the aftermath of the 2016 election–a project about time travel, embodied listening, empathy, public discourse, and the lost art of letter writing.
A word from Tënk
Yours in Sisterhood is staged deceptively simply if efficaciously by centering words–those of yesterday and of today–as well as embodied reactions and silences that sometimes, themselves, formulate complex and dense sentences. Before a fixed camera, women hailing from diverse backgrounds, one after the other, read letters to the editor of a feminist periodical published in the United States in the 1970s. A dialogue quickly develops between the past and the present, as they express how the contents of these writings echo in the current realities. An intelligent and sensitive work emerges, one that paints a broad historical portrait of feminism in a complex America where diverse ideologies and visions–sometimes even opposing ones– cohabitate. Beyond this nuanced tableau, which, in addition to helping us to better understand the intersectionality of women’s oppressions, is also a call to recognize one’s own privileges and to react concretely so as to disrupt the centripetal force that seems to collectively lock us up in a dynamic of multiple violences.
Teacher and programmer