Women Artists from non-Western Backgrounds in the Swedish Context : An Intersectional Perspective to Artistic Resistance

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Title: Women Artists from non-Western Backgrounds in the Swedish Context : An Intersectional Perspective to Artistic Resistance
Author: Sandal, Gökçe
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Humanistinen tiedekunta, Maailman kulttuurien laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts, Department of World Cultures
Helsingfors universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för världens kulturer
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2018
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201812283836
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: alue- ja kulttuurintutkimus
Area and Cultural Studies
Region- och kulturstudier
Abstract: This study explores the topics of equality and inclusion of non-Western immigrant artists into the Western mainstream arts scene. Through an intersectional research focus, it argues that being a woman from a non-Western ethnic background and being an artist create site specific challenges for artists in gaining recognition and success within the industry. The main argument states that the Western art world still carries neocolonial overtones, and that the institutional practices of multiculturalism rely on a problematic manner of tokenism which creates a new stereotype of an exotic non-Western artist with strong roots in their cultural backgrounds. As a case study, this thesis analyzes the topic of equality in the contemporary Swedish art scene, as well as the artistic intervention strategies the artists employ to challenge the hierarchical and exclusive traits in the arts industry. The works of art by two women artists/artist duos practicing in Sweden, namely Roxy Farhat and Mahoyo, are examined through a visual content analysis method to explore art’s function as a means of critical intervention into the systems of oppression and marginalization. Through the critical works of art by the afore-mentioned artists, the study aims to answer the question of how artistic personal narratives of intersectional identities confront and challenge the grand narratives on multiculturalism, anti-racism and gender equality in the Swedish context. It is concluded that artistic narratives of intersectional identities are of great importance since they reclaim the right to define themselves, and to get their own perspectives acknowledged in an industry that still tends rely on stereotypical definitions of the other. By using art as a political and critical tool, these artists demand transformation from the arts scene to do away with privileges and to better accommodate different identities and perspectives.
Subject: artistic resistance
arts institutions

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