Online Guest Talk: Freeing Up the Windup Dolls, with Aphrodite Désirée Navab

Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation

This event is open to all

Nov 01

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Virtual Space

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Artist Aphrodite Désirée Navab will present on her ink drawing series: WINDUP DOLLS (2020).

Navab explores how the same tool which winds the doll will become the key that frees her. Like her invented heroine, Super East-West Woman, whose chador turns into a cape of agency—transformation, metamorphosis and reinvention are significant strategies for survival explored in Navab’s art. This series is inspired by one of Iran’s first feminist voices, Forough Farrokhzad (1934-67) and her poem “The Wind-up Doll” (1959): “More than this, ah yes, one can remain silent more than this…Exactly like a wind-up doll, one can see one’s own world with two glass eyes. One can sleep for years in a felt-lined box, on lace and tinsel. And in response to every obscene squeeze of a hand, one can exclaim without reason: ‘Oh, I’m so happy!”

Aphrodite Désirée Navab

Born in Iran and based in New York, the artist Aphrodite Désirée Navab mines her Iranian, Greek and American heritage, calling forth its competing histories, myths, and politics and tracing its impact on her personal identity. Navab’s art has been featured in over one hundred and fifty exhibitions and is included in a number of permanent collections including: The Addison Gallery of American Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Lowe Art Museum, the Harn Museum of Fine Arts, Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Naples, Italy, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Arkansas State University. At present, Navab had a solo museum show, Landmines of Memory, at the Addison Gallery of American Art (Jan-April 2021). She had a solo exhibition, The Homeling, at Johannes Vogt gallery in New York (Jan.-Feb. 2018). Her work was exhibited at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in the traveling group museum show: Men of Steel, Women of Wonder, (Feb 9-April 22, 2019). In 2009, her art was featured in the museum exhibition and catalogue, Through the Lens: Photography from the Permanent Collection, at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami. The exhibition featured only 100 significant photographs from more than 1,000 photographic holdings from: Julia Margaret Cameron and Walker Evans to Cindy Sherman and Gregory Crewdson.


Aphrodite Désirée Navab’s Website

Instagram at @aphroditedesiree

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The vision of Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation is to generate a movement with committed social artivists in response to historic global unrest. Artivism aims to generate community through multi-disciplinary teamwork for a more dignified and meaningful coexistence, however you define these terms. The goal of this initiative is to nurture confidence in taking continuous action from wherever you are by means of reciprocity.

Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation is a collaboration between Adelphi University; Gottesman Libraries, Teachers Colege, Columbia University; and Sing for Hope.

Artivism: The Power of Art Social Transformation, grew out of Illuminations of Social Imagination: Learning From Maxine Greene, (Dio Press, 2019), edited by Teachers College alumni Courtney Weida and Carolina Cambronero-Varela, and Dolapo Adeniji-Neill, of Adelphi University. "The concept for this book is inspired by the late Maxine Greene (2000), who described her enduring philosophical focus and legacy of social imagination as “the capacity to invent visions of what should be and what might be in our deficient society, on the streets where we live, in our schools” (p. 5). The purpose of this volume is to examine and illuminate the roles of community organizers and educators who are changing lives through public art and community arts projects. This research originally emerged from a well-attended 2018 conference presentation and exhibition at Teachers College, Columbia University, engaging with the local and international community of arts education and arts administration."

-- Publisher's Description


To request disability-related accommodations contact OASID at, (212) 678-3689, or (646) 755-3144 video phone, as early as possible.

Last Updated: 1:24 pm, Tuesday, Oct 19 , 2021