Susan Kleckner and Documents from the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp
September 11-October 9, 2013
Reception: Friday, September 20 from 4 pm until 5:45 pm
Herter Art Gallery
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Susan Kleckner and Documents from the Greenham Commons Women’s Peace Camp tells the story of a group of women committed to occupying a space otherwise claimed for militarism and colonialism, and transforming it into a place of protest and exploration of feminist politics. During the course of the nine-year encampment, women from all over the world visited the camp. Among them was Susan Kleckner, a New York based artist and activist, engaged in making art for and about the lives of women. The photographs, documents, and video included in this exhibition represent Kleckner’s commitment to feminist art and radical politics by documenting life at the encampment.
While this exhibit is in part a historical project to recover the activism of women like Kleckner and those who lived at the Greenham Common Peace Encampment, it also addresses contemporary issues and movements that affect women’s empowerment in society. In light of extreme violence that continues to be inflicted upon women, and from recent protests in Turkey, Greece, and Egypt and the Occupy movement in the United States, the goal of this project is to encourage people to think about how social change happens and draw parallels across cultural, racial and national boundaries.
In keeping with the spirit of Greenham Common, this exhibit has been created by a diverse group of artists, scholars and activists concerned with documenting the history of women’s activism. Our project would have not been possible without the collaboration and dedication of a number of individuals who shared a commitment to Susan Kleckner’s work: Susan Jahoda, faculty at UMass Amherst; Marwa Amer, supervising archivist tasked with processing the Susan Kleckner collection; Paula Allen, Linda Cummings, Susan Jahoda, and Sonya Milton, who made the archiving of Susan Kleckner’s art work possible; and Jesal Kapadia, co-Arts editor for Rethinking Marxism.
The Susan Kleckner Collection is part of the Special Collections University Archives at UMass, Amherst. The processing and exhibition of this collection would have not been possible without the ongoing mentoring and support of Rob Cox and Danielle Kovacs.