Sharon Alward and Gwen Armstrong: “Witnessing Women”

A discussion of the act of witnessing within a feminist artistic context with a comparison to witnessing in the fields of law, religion and psychology.

The presentation will include an overview of philosopher Kelly Oliver’s Witnessing: Beyond Recognition, a publication that provides an ethical model of identity in a multicultural society that is based on witnessing. Oliver suggests that it is the act of witnessing, the possibility of true connection, that creates and fosters subjectivity.

Alward and Armstrong believe in art as a healing agent; through performance ritual and witnessing, collective pain can be shared to initiate healing. Griefwork, in particular, requires validation of loss through healthy witnessing.

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Saturday, November 18
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