Category Archives: Laurie and Debbie’s blog

Women Talking NFL: Topless and Fighting Back

Laurie and Debbie say:

The National Football League is a notoriously irresponsible and unethical organization in more ways than we can count. A few days before the Superbowl, Jennifer Swann at TakePart featured this 30-second video, “Topless Women Talk NFL.”

Swann also spoke with Cecelia Najar, writer of the video. Natalie Metzger directed.

Najar said she got the idea for the campaign last October while watching professional football players strut across the field decked out in pink accessories in a nod to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. October is also designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but when Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay donned purple cleats to show solidarity with the cause—he lost his mother to domestic violence—the league fined him for altering his uniform. 
“It made me feel like women are only important to men when we talk about our boobs,” said Najar. That same month, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy was welcomed back into the NFL after serving a four-game suspension for a domestic violence charge—a punishment many considered not nearly harsh enough, inciting widespread criticism of the league. 

We applaud the bravery and directness of the video’s message. We would have loved to see it run as an ad during the Big Game.

From a body image perspective, these women are using the most powerful tools at their disposal (their nearly naked bodies) to make you see domestic violence–which is blamed on those same bodies. The huge majority of victims are women (although certainly some are men). The fundamental reason for domestic violence is that society permits men to explode their rage on women’s bodies. So when women take their boobs into the political arena, they are taking the way in which they are dehumanized and endangered, and using that to claim their full humanity.

This act of productive disruption is brilliant .. The disgusting aspect of the story is how far they have to go to be heard.

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Memory Landscapes: Going to Brooklyn

Laurie says:

I posted recently about shadow photos for my Memory Landscape project. Check out the whole project here.

“These photos are images that may be part of the aesthetic of memory, where rather than have your mind go from one associative memory to another, instead it goes very briefly to a space that is not about remembering but simply about being. I’m in a place where I am considering things rather than making decisions.”

For myself, I think of it as my mind going to Brooklyn. And Emma Humphries, who is working with me on the tech for this, is simply calling these images Brooklyn.

Guerrero Tree ShadowsfinalTree branches on Guerrero St, where I live now.

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While the project has a very strong intellectual framework, I’m fundamentally thinking about it visually. Seeing extended patterns of memory images, some times partially changing, sometimes not. When Emma was talking to me about the code, she drew some it out for me in pictures (we both think in pictures in different ways). Then I realized that the html code and the hyperlinks were very much my memory visualization, and just how well suited this language is for a non-linear memoir. A non-linear memoir feels much realer to me than the usual narrative forms that we use to reframe and remake our stories in. So there seems to be a deep harmony between Emma’s use of code language and the visual language of my art.

Shadows Roxburytrees final 3Trees and sky in Roxbury in upstate New York, where I lived along time ago.

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Guerrero wires ShadowsfinalLamp post and wires on Guerrero St.

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If you look at these images and the ones in the previous blog, you can see the harmony between them.  At the moment that feels very right to me, and may have ways of developing that I’ve just realized while writing this post.

I’m still considering the kinds of images I want for the brief state of simply being, but these will be part of the work in progress. As the new associative memory images and paths develop, I’ll be posting about them.

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