ABOUT THE CELEBRATING WOMEN EXHIBIT AT UNESCO HEADQUARTERS IN PARIS
2009 at UNESCO Celebrating Women was exhibited at the UNESCO House, 7 place de Fontenoy, Paris, France in Rooms Miró 1 and 2. The exhibit was part of the Organization¹s International Women¹s Day (IWD) program, a month-long celebration. Read Paola's speech at UNESCO.
The exhibit featured six festivals from the book, Celebrating Women. These festivals honor women for reasons as diverse as kind-heartedness; ferocity; courageousness in the face of social injustice; or simply for being young and fancy-free.
INDIA: Kali Puja celebrates the fierce warrior goddess Kali, who fights evil.
SWAZILAND:The Reed Dance celebrates girls’ virginity. Twenty-five thousand maidens dance for two days to honor the Queen Mother—and to be honored by their country.
SWEDEN: Sankta Lucia celebrates women as kind. Little girls wear candles on their heads on December 13, sing the Lucia song and serve their parents breakfast in bed.
POLAND: Noc Świętojańska celebrates women as magical. Young girls braid garlands of wildflowers and herbs to float on the river at night; traditionally, they believed their wreath would lead them to the man they’d marry.
BRAZIL: Festival of Boa Morte, celebrates women as political. Descendents of slave women who helped bring about abolition, convene first for Catholic, then Candomblé, ceremonies.
MOROCCO: Moussem of Imilchil celebrates women as initiators. Once a year, Berber widows and divorcees identify and invite men to marry them.
2008 at the FIELD MUSEUM
Almost 200,000 people saw Celebrating Women during its seven months
at the Field Museum, an exhibit that opened with members of Chicago’s
ethnic communities demonstrating their own rituals, music and dancing.