‘Invoking the Goddess’ exhibit opens Monday

The Invoking the Goddess photography exhibition with work by Malathi de Alwis and Sharni Jayawardena will launch Monday.

The launch will include an artist’s talk by de Alwis, followed by a reception, on Monday, Nov. 3, from 3 to 5pm, at Crossroads, 283 Health, Nursing and Environmental Studies Building (HNES), Keele campus. The event is presented by Crossroads Community and Environmental Art Workshop and the Centre for Feminist Research.

An image from the Invoking the Goddess exhibit
An image from the Invoking the Goddess exhibit

The exhibit combines the photographs of award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer Jayawardena and explanatory texts by sociocultural anthropologist de Alwis. It focuses on the goddess Kannaki-Pattini, an inspiring example of Hindu-Buddhist syncretism in Sri Lanka. In a context where Sri Lanka is slowly emerging from three decades of civil war and attempting to stitch together a social fabric tragically torn apart by ethno-nationalisms, the exhibit offers a timely reflection on a shared history of beliefs and traditions.

The exhibit will be open to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 4, from 11am to 7pm (de Alwis will be available from 5 to 7pm); Wednesday, Nov. 5, from 11am to 3pm (de Alwis will be available from 11:30am to 2:30pm); and Thursday, Nov. 6, from 11am to 5pm.

A panel discussion, titled The Creative Arts as Pedagogy: A Transnational Feminist Dialogue, will happen Wednesday, Nov. 5, from 3 to 5pm, at 140 HNES.

The panel will bring together de Alwis; Shahrzad Mojab of the University of Toronto’s OISE; York Faculty of Environmental Studies Professor Honor Ford-Smith; York Professor Rachel Gorman of the School of Health Policy and Management in the Faculty of Health; and Nayani Thiyagarajah of York University. The panellists will engage in a conversation facilitated by Professor Alison Crosby, director of the Centre for Feminist Research, on how they draw on the creative arts to think through their research, politics and the everyday.

They will also discuss a variety of questions, including “How can the arts create transnational feminist conversations that teach the irreconcilable, the unsettling, the intersecting and parallel lived experiences across and within nations, states, histories and politics?”

These events are co-sponsored by the Centre for Refugee Studies, the York Centre for Asian Research, the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies and the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

For more information, visit the Invoking the Goddess website.