Discovery of the poem
The beginning of the project.
A Mother’s Day Call to Arms
for the 21st Century
We are inspired by, and are following the pioneering creative approach of Julia Ward Howe as she called for women everywhere to act against the industry of war in her 1870 proclamation And also the relentless campaign of Anna Jarvis for mothers throughout the world to work together for peace that resulted in the establishment of the inaugural Mother’s Day in the United States in 1911.
“In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”
Julia Ward Howe
Women live war. And war steals lives and communities and hope – ultimately stripping us all of our humanity. Julia Ward Howe’s passion and creativity is an inspiration to us as artists. We are now compelled to come together to share, to create, to perform and to harness meaningful change for peace and for peaceful mothering.
Following in the wake of Julia and Anna, our dream is to move beyond our own creativity – to be propelled by it in fact – to capture, to protect and to share the works of the imagination of women artists responding to and surviving conflict and war. We want to hear the unsung songs, read the unread pages and view the unseen canvases. We want to celebrate creative bravery.
So powerful and so relevant are Julia’s words to us today, that we feel her beside us, speaking directly, as she writes:
These words are more relevant and more urgent than ever. So please, be part of that congress. Be part of our dream for change. We can now share ideas, art and hope across borders and oceans with the click of a button.
We can create a Digital Homeland. Please. Be part of this. Help us build what this passion for change becomes. Let’s define it together by using creative, extraordinary and kind ways to explore what Julia called:
“the means whereby the great human family can live in peace.” Thank you
Who we are – Esther Wilson/ Sarah Black/ Laura Campbell/ Dee Hennessey/ Jane Farley/ Fay Ballard.
Partners – Desmond TuTu Centre/ Museum of Motherhood / Warehouse 9/ First Take
Desmond Tutu Centre
Museum of Motherhood
My work is autographical and psychoanalytically aware. I draw. I am driven by a strong force to explore my childhood. My mother died when I was seven, on holiday in Spain in 1964, soon after my birthday. She was 34.
Returning to England, my father, the late novelist J G Ballard, never mentioned my mother again, and I grew up as his motherless daughter alongside my younger sister and older brother.
After my father’s death in 2009, deep cracks in my psyche opened and I was confronted with my mother’s death. Clearing the family home where we had moved in 1959, I discovered photos and one personal item of my mother – her powder compact on my father’s writing desk – for the first time.
The subject of Mother, of Mothering is critically important to me as I explore what it means to have and not have a mother. And now as a mother myself. Psychoanalytic work by Melanie Klein, John Bowlby, Hanna Segal as well as Freud informs my practice.
I believe in the Mother as a creative force, as a giver of life, as a provider of nourishment, as a builder of peace, as a container for the individual as well as the group, and as a source of love.
This piece is called ‘birth’, and is part of a series
‘growth’, ‘heaven/earth’ and ‘family’
My work is very much about the process of decay and death, shown in a way where we are supposed to like what we see, even though the pieces undergo changes that we are normally having trouble accepting.
Lost in the cloud?
OmniPresence is an art project created by the performance group Kassandra Production to dig into central questions of privacy, freedom and control in our digital age.
And the deeper we dug, the more absurd it got.
Most of us tend to live in blissful ignorance about what happens with our personal data – the new currency of our time. We have created a new normal in which we willingly give away our personal information in return for convenient apps, seamless user experiences, connectedness and likes. Big data harvesting is to a large extent fuelled by our own vanity and basic instincts. We have become users, addicts, bio-banks and cash cows, controlled and manipulated by big business. And we’re stuck.
How did we get here? What is the impact on our free will, when privacy becomes a commodity? What happens to free choice, when our opinions are shaped by snack media and echo chambers? How do these invisible mechanisms affect modern democracy?
With OmniPresence we put forward the questions that need to be asked. And we shed light on the fact that privacy is gone; that we are public by default – private through action.
what we see, even though the pieces undergo changes that we are normally having trouble accepting.
Once the content has played they will be linked to an online PORTAL POLL and further elements of the experience and the website which will guide them further.