"A Conversation between and about the intersection of contemporary art and the aesthetics of female empowerment" Speakers include exhibition artists Mata Ruda, Angela Fraleigh, and Anjali Bhargava. Moderated by Jasmine Wahi. Curator’s Note: (Curated by Jasmine Wahi) ZABARDAST (zuhb-are-dust) is an onomatopoetic Urdu term that translates roughly to ‘Awesome!’ or ‘Terrific!’ or in this instance (using some poetic licensing) ‘Fabulous!’. This word should be said with great gusto and vim- like a whoop or a war cry. ZABARDAST (fabulous). is, in short, an homage to the women who are enthusiastically revered for their originality, strength, and self-motivated power. These are women unabashedly break the boundaries, disrupt the normative societal expectations, and embrace the frenetic glory of needed change. The exhibition draws inspiration from a conglomeration of contemporary ‘No Wave’ feminists from across the globe who are not only self-empowered, but who have paved the way for others to similarly shine and persevere in the face of struggle. Some of the women who inspired the show are globally recognizable- women like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Malala Yousafzai, Beyonce, Ana Mendieta, and Arundhati Roy (to name a few). Others are largely invisible in the public eye, and often go unheralded for all that they champion, yet warrant no less merit or laudation. Some of these characters exist only in a fictive realm, and symbolically stand in for who and what we strive to be. Participating artists hail from diversity of backgrounds, ages, and genders. They work in a smorgasbord of media ranging from painting to performance, installation to video. What unites these artists, aside from the narrative and figurative visual cues within their work, is their belief in the ‘zabardasti’, and the forward trajectory of an all-inclusive future for women in the world.
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