At Your Home Without Me: The Artistic Mankind of Betsabeé Romero
“Art needs to express itself to safeguard humanity.” These are the words of Betsabeé Romero, a Mexican fixture, sculptor, and a generous, greedy painter who is exhibited around the world. She is a poet and activist too. This humanity—a damaged, confused and self-reflecting humanity—was not prepared to face the brutal consequences of the Covid19 pandemic.
Betsabeé Romero is now listening to the suddenly silent streets of Mexico City, North America’s largest city.
From her little street house in the Villa de Cortés district, the artist is on the lookout for the sadness that invades the world faster than the disease. The absence of funerals. the hidden violence against the women and children in her country. And of course, her own personal fight fight for female artists.
Confined, she writes, draws, and reads, mostly philosophy at the moment. She is thinking about art installations to illustrate the staggered mourning that many people will experience. Incidentally, she has been invited to create and speak on this topic at the Frieze in London this Fall, as well as in Sydney and Rome.
The Shadow Pandemic:
Domestic Violence and COVID-19
In the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, a more private war is worsening in some homes. While most of the world is asked to stay confined to save lives, others are hurt and victims of abusive, sometimes dangerous partners. Where women are isolated at homes, reports show an increase of more than 30% of domestic violence against them.
The Chairman and CEO of Kering, François-Henri Pinault, had already rung the alarm bell in New York last December at the annual Voices of Solidarity gala where he was being honored for the visionary work of his foundation to combat this invisible plight: “Gender-based violence is so universal, so extreme and so devastating that we must call it what it really is: an emergency.”
In these unprecedented times of isolation, the Kering Foundation has not only made emergency donations to its partner NGOs but has also launched a social media campaign in the United States, France, the UK and Italy to help survivors seek aid and make accessible support more visible: #YouAreNotAlone.
At Your Home Without Me with Vanessa Serrano
Confined Bodies, but Free Souls. At Last
‘When I bared my soul it seems you did not hear‘
Joe Jackson | Body and Soul
Singer and songwriter Erykah Badu recently posted on Instagram a drawing of a person seated in a lotus position. “If you can’t go outside,” the caption read, “go inside.”
“A sound advice,” wrote Diane Von Furstenberg who shared the post @therealdvf.
‘If you can’t go outside, go inside’ is exactly what Mexican author and entrepreneur Vanessa Serrano—who has developed her professional work as a path to search for her own purpose—invites people to focus on.
“I believe we should take today’s opportunity to observe our minds,” Vanessa told me in a phone interview.
To ease people’s confinement, Serrano has created a series of free online sessions in Spanish called Healing Detox and Spiritual Awakening.
Omowale, The Child Has Come Home
Firechat with with Tope Fajingbesi Balogun, author and founder of United for Kids and of She-Eo
Member of the American Delegation to the 2019 Women in Africa Summit
The day Social Entrepreneur and Nigerian-born Tope Fajingbesi met with Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, she still thought she would end up working in the White House developing a project she calls Omowale (literally: the child has come home). The former accountant turned author, activist and serial entrepreneur is participating in the 2019 American delegation to the Women in Africa summit in Marrakech (June 27-28), along with former co-host of The View and lawyer Star Jones, Vital Voices President Alyse Nelson, media leader Ann Walker Marchant, Cartier Women’s Initiative Award North America judge and angel investor Birame Sock, Founder of Shea Radiance Funlayo Alabi, filmmaker Felicia Taylor, New York based ethical designer Ingrid Bruha and EBW founder Ingrid Vanderveldt among others (full list of delegates: check out http://www.wia-initiative.com/ and app).