Blog 04: International Women’s Week

On Tuesday, March 3, I attended The Importance of Collective Care in the Helping Profession by Anuska Martins. Her presentation was very powerful because it’s something that a lot of people go through on a day to day basis. She spoke about Intimate Partner violence (IPV) and about the ways to help those who are in danger. She stated how it can happen to normal couples that don’t necessarily expect it to come. She also mentioned how there’s many different types of IPV and how some people don’t want to admit that they’re in danger, so they result to being in denial. Her Key message was to ultimately inform people to keep their eyes open to danger even from a loved one in order to save them from violence. 

Anuska mentioned the shelter she works at for the safety of many women. She explained the significance of the shelter that it purposely looked like a house in order to not draw attention and to keep the women safe. The women in the shelter would receive support and advice from the professionals there and the shelter could hold up to nine women and their children for up to three months at a time. 

This presentation made me think differently about the views on intimate partner violence because of how dangerous and scary it is. It’s so unfortunate that so many people are victims to violence due to their partners. I think that it’s crucial to always keep an open mind to the possibilities of danger even though it may be the person you love. As Anuska mentioned, it can happen to anyone. 

To conclude, Anuska explains it’s important to always help others, but also to not forget about ourselves. We forget sometimes we’re all people, we all get tired and need breaks. I would definitely recommend this presentation because it taught me so much about something I didn’t really dive into before. 

On Thursday, March 5, I visited the auditorium for international women’s week and learned about Art in Response to Backlash presented by Sonya Stefan. Her presentation was very interesting, but not what I had imagined. Throughout her entire presentation she provided lots of videos and pictures about the things that took interest in her life. Sonya Stefan is a dancer, curator and filmmaker who embarks herself in many clubs. The first one is, La Lumiere Collective which is a mini cinema where people can share their films for a very low price to one another, Telepresence where she collects old surveillance equipment to make her films, Kids Pop where she provides many services for young children and families and lastly, Lux Magna which is a celebration of culture and arts. 

Many other students and I enjoyed her presentation, but we began to question what the connection between her passion for art, dance and film to International Women’s week was. She then gave her key message which was that her work is based on body, and with that comes a lot of complication to women. She said how she grew up hating her body and only after age 35 she began to love herself due to her expression of arts. She mentioned also how dance was an industry where a lot of women had to shut their mouth and obey, therefore exploring dance in a healthy way really inspired her to be the best version of herself. 

Her presentation didn’t really make me think differently towards the struggles that women must go through, but it did inspire me. I adored the way Sonya challenged many negative aspects into positive because of art. 

To conclude, Sonya did add that her definition to feminism was someone who is honest, open and willing to learn. She said how she was born a feminist and would probably die one as well. I would recommend her presentation to a friend, because it showed me how there’s so many different ways of being an inspirational woman. 

By: Julianna Noto

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