Young Feminists Unite

Doesn’t matter where you’re from, social initiatives toward equality and justice continue. Black History Month has presented many opportunities for learning. Here at MoM, we’ve shared information from with our students, partnered to create events putting Black-owned businesses at the center, and continued with a commitment to share broadly and loudly a commitment to empower all humans equally from all walks of life. For example we have shared widely MoM’s proximity of The Woodson African American Museum in St. Pete to MoM and admiration for Carter G. Woodson and his journey. We take that journey to heart and invest similarly in women’s rise within Women’s History Month.

MoM affirms that one person’s security, safety, and serenity need never jeopardize another’s. There is room for everyone to seek harmony on this earth, but not when primitive thinking rules. Mother loves all her children, even if humans fall short of this golden rule all too often.

News of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) failing yet again in its ratification is heartbreaking. The twenty-eighth amendment which bans discrimination based on sex was first introduced in 1923 and was passed by Congress fifty years later, it has yet to be ratified. Subsequent pushes to see it through have failed. It is disappointing to bring this most recent development to your attention on the first day of Women’s History Month after a Federal Appeals Court rejected the case only days ago.

Welcome MoM Projects and Our New Intern: Yana

This spring we have multiple projects in the works. Some are spearheaded by interns from around the world. Dr. Hannah Brockbank (England) is leading a team that includes Laura Gabrielle (USA) and Yana Sharifullina (Russia; read more below) towards the first of several online classes, we are developing and hope to be offering at MoM later this year, while Victoria Wright continues research on a breastfeeding exhibit for her final Master’s project with MoM.

Locally, in St. Petersburg, the AEHK Studio Tour takes place on March 18 & 19 all day long. Intrepid visitors can wander Historic Kenwood and see the amazing art studios of its residents, including MoM’s own Martha Joy Rose’s works. Jenilee Dowling leading a Mothers’ Moon Circle on March 21st at 7 PM instead of our regular morning meetup onsite in the garden at 10 AM. All other meetings this month are at the usual time. Then, the weekend of March 24-26 is the Annual Academic & Arts MoM Conference. Presenters from around the world share their work on the changing world of reproductive landscapes. Contact us to fine out more. Stick with us. Lots to come!

Hi everyone! My name is Yana Sharifullina. I’m a high school graduate who plans to major in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at college, and pursue a social impact career – hopefully in public interest law or public policy work – in the future. I’m confident that my time with the MoM would be a truly transformative experience, and I can’t wait to work in the areas about which I’m truly passionate.

We look forward to bringing you lots of stories about Women’s History (or HERstory) this month!! Stay tuned. Also, we hope to see some of our local friends on Friday, March 3 for YesChefVillage dinner 6-7:30 PM at 538 28th St. N. in St. Pete. The dinners are free. The community is awesome. Meet Chef Omaka and friends. RSVP 877-711-MOMS (6667) pls.

We 3/4s of the way towards purchasing the Mother Tree for our permanent collection! Only $8,000 left to go, with $17K already raised! Help us meet this goal. Join this legacy production today.

We APPRECIATE YOU! Every dollar helps us rise to the occasion of our own success as we prove ourselves as THE destination for the art, science, and history of women, mothers, and families. DONATE NOW!

Thanks to Cait McVey/Spectrum Bay News 9 for the recent news story, March 1, 2023: St. Pete museum celebrates the history of mom. Martha Joy Rose’s new venture for the City of St. Pete is the Mom Museum, carefully curated with all things mother. LINK

Localtopia, V-Day, YesChefVillage, and More…

Today is V-Day. It’s a time for lovers, a time for mothers, and a time for social change. Valentine’s Day, the holiday, is an age-old tradition. According to historians, Valentine’s Day originated in ancient Rome, stemming from a Pagan celebration called the feast of Lupercalia, a festival of fertility and purification. NPR states:

“The Roman romantics “were drunk and naked.” According to Noel Lenski, a religious studies professor at Yale University, “Young women would line up for the men to hit them.” They believed this would make them fertile. The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.”

Source: https://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133693152/the-dark-origins-of-valentines-day

The festival was made more civilized through subsequent interpretations. Ultimately, the pagan influences were reduced, Christianity took over, and the story of the martyred St. Valentine preaching in Rome was added. The holiday took on new meaning; Less debauched, still fertility, or love-based, and romanticized by people like Shakespeare, it ultimately became the cultural and commercial event we recognized today.

For those romantics who might be focused on learning to love themselves, there are other lessons to be had. For example, coupledom is no longer top priority for some Gen Z and millennials. According to The Knot, post-pandemic trends are leaning towards prioritizing health and wellness over serial dating. In fact, according to statistics 75% of Gen Z are single as opposed to 44% of millennials who are married (source). Additionally, focusing on social movements like BLM and green-sustainability rank high on the list of priorities.

“Through the pandemic, a lot of people have prioritized wellness, particularly in terms of their physical fitness, and their mental fitness, and their consumption habits.”

Source: https://www.theknot.com/content/dating-trends

I guess we have come a long way from the debauched Roman holiday of old. In fact, now we even have pushback with organizations like Eve Ensler’s V-Day, One Billion Rising, an organization begun with “a mass action to end violence against women in human history.” The movement addresses the “staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.”

Today, MoM rises, along with One Billion Rising to honor 10 years of One Billion Rising and 25 years of V-Day. We join in the campaign today in 2023, which has been declared a year of INSPIRATION and ASPIRATION.

According to V-Day, this will be “A year of storytelling, building communities, strengthening solidarity, sharing dreams, planting trees, creating art, honoring women and the earth, and of dancing.”

It is the year MoM will continue “to ENVISION and CREATE new ways of being, seeing, living, loving and connecting. Of raising consciousness and deepening understanding. So that our freedom, our future, is rooted in truth, love, community, earth and body.” (Source: One Billion Rising).

To that end, join our collaboration with YesChefVillage, bringing free, healthy food to communities seeking access to dining resources and connection. This Friday, Feb. 17th, 6-7:30PM will be our second dinner with Chef Omaka and his team. You can write us INFO@MOMmuseum.org to attend, fill out the RSVP form on our website, or just show up!

Then, Saturday, Feb. 18th, come see us at Localtopia in St. Petersburg, FL, a celebration of all things local. Our booth will be in area #7, The Family Village, and we will be sharing more love, more connections, and more information and education about our mission locally. Today, LOVE EVERYBODY! Love, MoM!

Joy Report; V-Day and More in February 2023

February is the month of Black History, V-Day Love, and Susan B. Anthony Day. How do all these things intersect? Let’s try to connect the dots.

Black History month was codified into law in 1986. Championed by Carter G. Woodson, the ‘father of Black history’ with an agenda to promote Black studies, history, and culture, “Woodson’s goal from the very beginning was to make the celebration of Black history in the field of history a ‘serious area of study.” (Source). He spent his whole life working towards this goal.

As it turns out, the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum is 2.7 miles from the MOM Art Annex in the city of St. Petersburg. This is just one more reason St. Pete is an awesome place to develop our mission here in Pinellas County Florida. We sure do appreciate our neighbors. Next time you stop in to visit us, make sure to schedule a visit at the Woodson Museum too!

And now, with the month of love upon us, let’s give a big shout out for February 14th. Might we propose a renewed focus on brotherly and sisterly love this Valentines Day? Might we push back on violence in this wildly radicalized world. This secular event is celebrated worldwide as a day of affection and romance, yet humans have so much more to improve upon.

Here at MoM: We push back on war. We push back on aggression and lies. We push back on book banning, oppression, and hate speech. We acknowledge the lives lost to violence, the misguided ‘othering’ of individuals, and the patriarchal constructs that continue to dominate our world culture. This year on the 14th, we celebrate the V-Day Movement, One Billion Rising, an activist organization that emerged out of the Vagina Monologues by Even Ensler on Feb. 14, 1998 to stop violence of all kinds around the planet.

Then, rising up on February 15th is Susan B. Anthony‘s birthday. We honor her on this remembrance day for her commitment to suffrage during the first wave feminist movement in the United States. Her work with Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass and others, as both an abolitionist and then working on behalf of women for the right to vote, are seminal. Though these partnerships were complicated, Anthony a ‘woman’ and Douglas a ‘Black man’ are both significant figures in the early emancipation movements. Remarkably, Anthony’s birthday is a state holiday in Florida. I am proud to say that I still hold the Susan B. Anthony award by NOW-NYC, which proudly hangs in my office at the Annex. See more about the feminist waves below in our Flash Feminism slide show!

What’s next? A lot, it turns out. This Friday, we will be hosting a dinner with YesChefVillage onsite here at MoM. Sunday, February 5th is a sold-out Feminist Pizza Party in our garden to benefit the public arts initiative in Kenwood. I look forward to continuing my work with the St. Pete High School Feminist Club with several projects including this simple booklet introducing the four waves of feminism to students of all ages (See slide show above). I also have the privilege of overseeing detailed projects with interns conducting advanced scholarship in the area of mother studies from around the world! Finally, MoM will be participating in Localtopia 2023 with our own table and information about launching our capital building campaign, while hopefully finalizing the acquisition of the Mother Tree statue. These are just a few of our offerings this month at MoM. Looking forward to the intersections that connect us. See some of our recent tour participants here 🙂 Please donate to our success if you can!

With Love Always, All the Time; Martha JOY Rose, Founder/Director MoM

M.A.M.A. Issue 54 Mathilde Jansen & Lisa DeSiro

Introducing: Mathilde Jansen

Bio: Mathilde Jansen hails from Deventer (at the IJssel river valley), in the Netherlands. She graduated from the Royal Academy, The Hague (KABK) in 2006. Dar es Salaam has been a second home and source of inspiration. In 2016 she completed the postgraduate studies Education in Arts (Beroepskunstenaar in de Klas) at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. Her primary photographic practice seeks the universal value of natural resources and minerals as a means of tracing the complex relationship between people and the global economy. She aims to create new perspectives from which to examine social structures and the connections between the local and global, which, for Jansen, form the basis of human attitudes, social positioning and intercultural communication. In her practice Jansen consciously interweaves market-driven ways of thinking with an integrated holistic vision of nature, teasing out the borders between the two. Using experiments in analog photography, incorporating awe-inspiring constructions on location and manipulating medium format negatives, she creates a dynamic interplay between subject matter and representation, navigating areas as diverse and all-encompassing as nature and ecology, spirit, and community. Jansen envisions trees and organic structures being planted and preserved in urban spaces, gardens, national parks or anywhere – on a micro or macro level. Her current Landscape projects represent this interplay and interaction between modernization, wilderness and consciousness. [Web Link]

How does motherhood, reproductive identity, or experience inform your work?

Through my recent Landscape projects such as Potential Landscapes, I’ve escaped from the limitations that single motherhood has put onto my life (as a former full-time art and freelance photographer). I was a fully single mom, without a co-parent or similar support, from 2011-2019. All of a sudden, I couldn’t easily travel for an art project, even freelance work in short term or in the evening was hard to undertake. With my Dutch-Tanzanian daughter Daleila, I’ve enjoyed a great time, but the stress and urgency of side jobs, distracted my mind and made me focus too much on external and organizational matters instead of the essence of my life and purpose: what do I feel, need, love and desire (to share in the community)?

To my surprise, I’ve witnessed that people often prefer to judge rather than to offer support. As if my vulnerability triggered hidden fears in people, to stand alone. It takes courage to listen openly. I’ve felt connected to the continent during my time of single motherhood; I had to give up privileges, heal my romantic heart, get used to a more basic lifestyle and nurture my family with resilience. It made me grateful from within.

There came a turning point after meditating as a daily part of my self-care. This restored a creative flow of ideas and palpable steps in my day-to-day life. My resistance against my living circumstances transformed into acceptance and surrender. I truly enjoyed my life with my daughter and allowed any lovely outcome.
Besides that, I started to experiment with a technique, to manipulate my medium format nature (and portrait) photo-negatives with ink and organic substances, creating a new type of art photography from my home.

I’d like to highlight the power of neural networks and emotional connection, to expand inner space and outer or creative productivity. Which shifts the focus to the quality of relationships and inner connectedness, as a desired condition for reproduction, also in the form of raising a loving or healthy family.

Reproduction should ideally be a result of mutual interconnectedness in any way. It’s not a goal in itself, to me. Sharing a way of life which supports happy childhoods should be key. So (step)parenting is then a result of love, a responsible task for life and a desire for personal and communal growth, worthy of various forms of support or caring networks. I’d love to call this trans-parenting. There may be no doubt that all people are worthy of love and love-supporting rules and laws, if we can allow society to level up.

As a mother in a family of five (our 3rd child will be born in ’23) I am pro diversity and pro taking social responsibility by free will. Truthful and co-creative connections are my primal desire. Sharing a commitment with my partner, enables me to open up deeply and show my vulnerabilities and powers. Including my biological power to give life to new people born.

Women and men need evolving and daring relationships. I don’t want to exclude men or avoid male structures, instead I’m set to find new structures, regardless origin (or species), which are open to collaborate with (my) feminine and other energies. So we as people can flow in better directions.

Domestic Goddess


In this series I’ve re-shaped my conditioned mind as a (by that time) single working mum, within the domain of my home as a studio.

My role as an artist is entangled with my household and that of a mother and woman. Am I seeing through the fabric of a curtain, or am I hidden behind it? Cleaning, dancing, resting and organizing at home feels as natural to me, as a walk in the forest. It connects me to my heart, body and mind, where intention, dust, touch, move and scents co-exist in an emotional space with walls, doors, closets and transparent windows. As a (former) single mum, our house started to become a spiritual cube to me. It is were we’ve survived and learned to surrender and thrive, from within.

By exploring my natural connection to my home as an extension of Earth and its resources, I’m letting go of old patriarchal structures in which feminine senses and intuitive powers have been dominated or exploited (for the benefits of a power system). In fact I’ve talked to my shower and been drinking water as if coming from a well or source.

In the history of the Netherlands, a natural or spiritual connection to nature has been repressed by the institutional Church for centuries, whilst supporting economical activities and slave trade of the State overseas. A lack of sensual and free emotional expression has caused abuse of (so called) exotic women or even children, without a mutual equal connection.

Nowadays, people tend to project a wild inner nature on (trans)gender diversity. Yet heterosexual mothers often remain ignored or invisible, because the debate about reproduction focuses on a lineair and statistic point of view, rather as the contagious power of love as a reproductive energy. And relationships built on free will and a symbiotic harmony.

Natural forces have first been rediscovered at home, to affect social and economical domains as well. It’s a subtle and playfully provoking process. Poet and Jungian psychoanalytic Clarissa Pinkola Estés describes myths and stories in ‘Women who run with the wolves’.

Domestic Goddess plays with various interpretations of ‘the female archetype’ vocabulary. For people from western or market oriented countries this title might refer to a fantasy world or socially submissive status, defining the role of a woman or tasks in a household in a more less static way. Whereas in various cultures and beliefs a ‘family’ spirit is associated with social integrity or emotional responsivity and implements these qualities on a professional level as well. Nevertheless, this series isn’t about left or right, but about exploring the subconscious and act from that source in daily reality, within your community and living material surroundings too.

Mothership, part 1: Symbioscenes

Mothership, part 1: Symbioscenes

“As the symbiotic interconnections come back into the soil, the ecosystem, and the macrobiomes, the neural and emotional connections return to the psyche to a form of health. What is new in this field is the discovery that many of the foundational forces are invisible to us. We were simply ignorant of them. … The fact that, for the bulk of our time on this Earth, humans have not had to analyze or even be conscious of our positive relationships to the Earth accounts to some extent for our not naming or recording them in the languages that have coalesced to become the English language. They were taken for granted when the world gave generously and continuously of these connections.
As the Anthropocene has peeled away the protective layers that held our positive Earth emotions in place, we have come to appreciate and value their role in our psychic health. I have illustrated this loss with my own example of witnessing the destruction of endemism and my endemic sense of place in Western Australia.”


– Eco philosopher Glenn A. Albrecht (Earth Emotions, page 194-195)


Through the container project Mothership, I’m exploring how to navigate in my working and family life, pregnancy and motherhood, while evolving a conscious relationship with the Earth as a symbiosis. My first analogue photographs of a happening at the beach, Symbioscenes, will take part of a multimedia video work which is in progress, as the start of my artist residency in Motherhood, with the long term project Mothership.

Our consciousness is rooted in the soil (under our feet) and skies (beyond our control). What is the message of inner voices that we construct and perceive our reality from? I’ll edit unique audio fragments to play with daily, social structures and invisible powers. Such as eye opening fragments of my grandmother’s diary, which I got after she passed away.

Mothership intertwines female family lines and a psychological connectedness within a natural environment. I’ll visually explore the relationship between my (sub)consciousness and the way my body is one with nature.
The project forms a dialogue between my changing life, body and emotional system, but also seeks for new meaning within a collective consciousness. To find a dynamic and valuable truth which is solid enough to be able to build upon the concept of a symbiocene, a term by Glenn Albrecht.


WORDS

Lisa DeSiro is the author of Labor (Nixes Mate, 2018) and Grief Dreams (White Knuckle Press, 2017). Her poetry is featured in various anthologies and journals, and has been set to music by several composers. Lisa is employed as the Production & Editorial Assistant for a non-profit organization; in addition, she is an editor for Indolent Books and a freelance accompanist. Read more about her at thepoetpianist.com.