Women’s History Symposium kicks off with eye-opener
Julia Barbosa Landois researched prostitution and exploitation along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Published: Friday, March 9, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2012 19:03
President Robert Zeigler opened Women’s History Symposium Thursday saying how significant it is for students to learn about women’s health and history.
“This is a great opportunity for you to learn some things and talk about some things that you may not talk about,” Ziegler said. “That is what education is all about.”
Art Professor Marleen Hoover then talked about this college showing more than 50 films pertaining to women’s health, including “The Vagina Monologues” and “I, Doll.”
Hoover noted presentations from the past 20 years that pertained to women in education, abortion, arranged marriages and women pioneers.
“This year, we are channeling timely and very challenging topics,” Hoover said.
The theme for the 2012 celebration of Women’s History Month was "Texas Women: Laws, Health, and Survival."
A daylong symposium featured lectures and presentations on “Boystown” in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico; Planned Parenthood and the murder of women in Juarez, Mexico.
“The Golden Ass: Performance and Artistic Research” will be performed April 26 at the Fusebox Festival in Austin.
“Indelible” and “The Golden Ass” can be viewed at www.vimeo.com/user8924355.
For more information, visit www.julialandois.com.
On March 8, artist Julia Barbosa Landois presented “The Golden Ass: Performance and Artistic Research” on Boystown, a legal prostitution zone in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
Landois said she used to think men that went to Boystown were “women haters,” but she admitted some family members and friends have been there.
“I’m trying to pick apart these men I care about or have a certain type of relationship with and what makes them go also,” Landois said.
She did her research by interviewing men and prostitutes who frequented Boystown.
Some men she interviewed said they went to Boystown when they were “young and crazy” but now believe they are different people.
In the presentation, Landois showed a picture of Tlazolteotl, a goddess who inspires sinful acts but also offers redemption.
Tlazolteotl offers redemption only once, but if someone is redeemed and ends up sinning again, they are damned.
Landois thought Tlazolteotl represented a lot of the men who visited Boystown, because though they sinned, but in the end, they are forgiven, unless it became a continuous habit.
Landois’ project, on display at the Blue Star Contemporary Arts Center last summer, included an exhibit of a popular attraction along the border, a “donkey show,” a live sex act of a woman engaged in intercourse with a donkey.
For the Blue Star exhibit, she created an imitation Mexican bar that she named “Donkey’s Show” to capture the atmosphere and went into detail about the practice in a silent short film titled “Indelible.”