Kim Goddard – webweaver

My website

screen capture website

Click on the image to visit my website.

Website creation


Ha ha - fantastic fun creating this website!

Wemen comic

Tales with Spikes No 1 Daily Life by Kim Goddard

Click images to see Tales with spikes

 

Wemen comic

Comic "Tales with spikes" created during the Nomadways Wemen workshop in May 2018

Wemen comic

 

Out of the box - 3D zine

'Out of the box' was created during the two week Wemen workshop  in May 2018.

Boxed in by others perceptions of what we should or should not be, we cannot grow or freely  realise our full potential. Our true nature risks death by suffocation!

This little zine is an invitation to look outside of the box - both to the person within and the person without!

Expussytion manifesto

Colonial Boot Camp stamp collection

Artwork depicting the unwillingness (or the incapacity) of the patriarchal colonial French  State to tolerate differences, especially those inherent in being female and thus deviating from the male norm.  In total contradiction to its professed motto the State stamps out the very qualities it claims to aspire to.

La Marianne

When researching for gender images in preparation for Wemen,  I became aware of the overwhelming presence of ‘la Marianne’ both in the  media and in public spaces. She’s absolutely everywhere in France. Her profile stands out on the official government logo of the country, is engraved on French euro coins and appears on French postage stamps. She holds a place of honour in town halls and law courts.  She is one of the most prominent symbols of the French Republic, and is officially used on most government documents. She officially represents the motto of France ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’ In addition she is a significant republican symbol. Alongside the official imagery, there are also  a growing number of private representations; and political cartoonists have seized upon Marianne as the image of the Nation in order to make political points.

 

La Marianne

When researching for gender images in preparation for Wemen,  I became aware of the overwhelming presence of ‘la Marianne’ both in the  media and in public spaces. She’s absolutely everywhere in France. Her profile stands out on the official government logo of the country, is engraved on French euro coins and appears on French postage stamps. She holds a place of honour in town halls and law courts.  She is one of the most prominent symbols of the French Republic, and is officially used on most government documents. She officially represents the motto of France ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity’ In addition she is a significant republican symbol. Alongside the official imagery, there are also  a growing number of private representations; and political cartoonists have seized upon Marianne as the image of the Nation in order to make political points.

 

Liberty, equality,solidarity ?

Historically,before Marianne became the symbol of the Republic, she was the goddess of Liberty and wore Roman clothing and held a red Phrygian cap on top of a spear. The Phrygian cap used to be worn in ancient Rome by freed slaves to show their liberated status. When the Revolution began in 1789, the French people looked to the goddess of liberty for inspiration in their struggle for liberty. The Paris Commune encouraged the cult of the bare-breasted freedom fighter coiffed with the red Phrygian bonnet and although Paris never called her Marianne, this was the name given to her outside the Capital.

Over time, the ‘official’ image of Marianne has been through many transformations : the spear-wielding bare-breasted woman symbolising the fight for liberty ; the younger woman with children following behind holding the scales of justice, which the artists of the revolution then transformed into a builder’s level as a symbol of equality ; the serene motherly figure representing the nurturing motherland.

 

Colonial patriarchy

It seems  incongruous that a country so fiercely patriarchal, one whose language is so deeply sexist that it has no word for woman  apart from wife, should use the image of a woman as its symbol. The country doesn’t even recognise the existence of women in its motto ‘Liberty Equality Fraternity’ or in its constitution and yet the state claims a woman as the symbol of opposition to monarchy and the championship of freedom and democracy against all forms of oppression. So how has the state managed to resolve this apparent incoherence ?

Marianne now appears in an expurgated version. The latest figures and those most popular with today’s town halls are modeled on  Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve and Laetitia Casta. La Marianne has been stripped of all her attributes and symbols of liberty, justice, equality and democracy and we are left with ‘just a pretty face’.

Isn’t it ironic that one of the latest versions by Olivier Ciappa  is partly modelled on Inna Shevchenko the leader of the bare-breasted Femen, the Ukrainian feminist movement ?

 

In the same way that the French patriarchal state has colonised countries all over the world, so it has colonised womanhood and the feminin, stamping out all the differences that are inherent in being a strong and free female, leaving only the shell of a homogenised ‘pretty face’. It stamps out the qualities, symbols and attributes that could engender real liberty, equality and solidarity as these pose a threat to its very existence as a hierarchical state.

 

Me, we, him, her and you are also in the Colonial Boot Camp stamp collection.

Divergence from the norm, diversity, differences are all threatening to the rigid hierarchical control structure of  patriarchy.

 

Dare to be different, don’t be stamped out.

Imig'rant (No 4)

Inclusion and Diversity

The personal is political.

I've lived in France for 28 years and at least two thirds of of that time was spent attempting to move from 'excluded foreigner' to 'integrated citizen'. Yes, those years were a fantastic adventure and a formidable learning experience, a life well worth living. They were also a never-ending struggle to learn the language, find my place as foreign woman in the rural workplace, cope with the hideous bureaucracy and suffer the vagaries of the paternalistic (nay, positively feudal!) local politics - all necessary to becoming part of the village community.

Being accepted did not come without a price. I learnt to dumb down as a woman, to suppress my feminist and 'communist' tendencies and to keep my head below the parapet when talking politics, economics, justice (well, anything really).

Finally, after nigh on 20 years there arrived a moment when the Mayor of our village commented, somewhat surprisedly, on how well 'integrated' we were. Hurrah, we'd arrived!   ....or had we?

 

 

Exclusion integration and back again!

Naively, I finally felt accepted and safe enough to 'come out' as a feminist! as an anti-capitalist! as a transition activist! It's a long story, but suffice it to say that being 'integrated' did not save me from being the object of the most shameful and abysmal witch-hunt as my increasing activism and participation in the transition movement challenged the patriarchal status quo and 'business as usual'. A few dye hard chauvinists and opportunists joined the fun, watched on by many neighbours who managed to 'look the other way'.

It took a lot less time to move from 'integrated' to 'excluded' than vice versa!

This experience has made me deeply reflective and sensitive around issues of exclusion, integration and inclusion.

Diversity

A few weeks ago I took part in a 15 day Nomadways workshop on gender stereotypes .The WeMen (*1) workshop brought together 24 youth workers, visual artists, gender activists and theoreticians from different parts of Europe: France, Poland, Bulgaria, Portugal, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom and Turkey. We spent a great deal of time working on the pernicious effects of gender stereotypes in excluding and discriminating against women, but also against people of many genders on the base of their 'difference' from the dominant cult of 'normality' - a bipolar view of the human race divided into biologically determined men and women. Diversity denied!

The aim of the workshop was to produce artworks (in the form of comics) which challenge the dominant narrative and break down prevalent harmful stereotypes to allow a better understanding of the diversity and richness of humankind and thus create space allowing for more inclusive societies.

Though conversations and music in many languages are heard daily throughout Homade (*2) the workshops were principally in English and, much to my amazement and joy, I found this incredibly liberating. It was as though a fountain of creativity had suddenly been unleashed from deep within me. I became more intelligent, funnier and more creative. Though some of this was surely due to the exceptional quality of the company and the programme, I am absolutely positive it would never have surfaced in me had the workshops been in French. And there is the crux of the matter. I cannot be fully myself in French.

No more than can a gay man be himself as a straight man, or transpeople be themselves as the gender they don't identify with. We all need to self-identify, and we need the space to do it in without fear of discrimination.

Unless we make this space and embrace the diversity, the 'different' in others, the 'abnormal', we will never unleash the creativity that we need to help us to design regenerative cultures (*3).

Wemen on our doorstep

We are fortunate in the Lot to have an initiative such as Nomadways on our doorstep. Homade at Brivezac is an incubus for "joyful evolution and unconventional solutions ....a space where everyone is welcome to share and practice creativity".

The Wemen workshop was incredibly challenging for most, if not all, of the participants (not to mention the Nomad team! )

Twenty four nomads, artists, educators and social actors living (extremely closely) together and working through an intensive immersive experience - an inter-cultural, 'think-and-action-tank' about an inherently difficult, often painful and taboo, subject.

We not only learnt technical skills from each other and created some amazing gender bending artwork (*4), we also crossed boundaries, changed the narratives of our lives and opened up possible different futures for each of us. (*5 #expussytionists)

Personally (and the personal is political) the thing that I've brought away with me and that I'd like to share with you is about the importance of creating spaces where we can all be ourselves.

Inclusion requires us to allow diversity to burgeon.

*1 Wemen http://nomadways.eu/wemen-france-2018/

*2 Homade - http://nomadways.eu/welcome-to-homade-2018-france/

*3 DANIEL CHRISTAIN WAHLRedesigning Regenerative Cultures . Triarchy Press and International Futures Forum. 2016 .287pages. ISBN978-1-909470-77-4

*4 Photos from the exhibition https://www.facebook.com/pg/nomadways/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2069298683351253

*5 Expussytionists - site under construction www.expussytionists.eu