Ode to Polish Women | Exhibition
Ania Liesting & Maurice Ambaum
Venlo Library, NL| photo exhibition | November 8 to 30 2021
ECI Culture Factory Roermond, NL | pop-up urban art | 25 to 28 Nov 2021
EGA: Frauen im Zentrum Vienna, AT | 25 Feb – 15 Mar 2022
In Poland, women have been fighting for years for equal rights and the right of self-determination over their bodies. To give the women in Poland – as a symbol for all women in the world – an international stage we set up the Ode to Women project.
The multimedia project includes a pop-up urban art exhibition, photo exhibition, film, theater performance, European road tour and a road movie of the road tour. The trailer has been shown for the first time during As Equals week in November 2021.
Ania Liesting & Maurice Ambaum
book (Dutch) | photo exhibition | 2021, July 9 ~
Studio @ Raadhuislaan, Tegelen
In Poland, women have been fighting for equal(er) rights. The women’s strikes in her native Poland prompted photographer Ania Liesting to reflect. Every attempt to curtail freedom that women have fought hard for over the decades touches her, hurts her, makes her angry… and scared. Because what if the attempt succeeds? The women who stood on the barricades in Poland have inspired and energized her. With Ode aan Vrouwen she wants to make her voice heard as a photographer and draw attention to their struggle for freedom. Writer Maurice Ambaum wrote down the stories of the women who feel connected to Ania Liesting’s photographic protest. The stories and photos are included in the book Ode aan Vrouwen. A book with 25 personal stories of women.
The society, also in Venlo, is home to more and more cultural diversity. This leads to an enrichment of society if we succeed in allowing the different cultures to live together and respect each other. In this case, cultures are understood to mean religion, origin, social class and sexual orientation. With the Ode to Diversity project, the Ode to Women Foundation wants to draw attention to the value of cultural diversity and cherish the importance of a harmonious society in Venlo, in which people are connected in understanding and respect for each other and for each other’s culture.
The United Nations has declared May 21 as the World Day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development. The Ode to Women Foundation pays attention to this in Venlo, with a multimedia project Ode to Diversity.
In the center of Venlo, a large group photo was presented with women from different cultural backgrounds, in accordance with the description of cultures indicated above. Every woman is a representative of a cultural group. The photo contains a QR code that refers to this page containing talk shows ‘World Day for Cultural Diversity, Dialogue and Development’.
Theater performance ‘Sixty Seconds’
The United Nations declared abortion a human right in 2018. The European Union followed suit in June 2021. However, access to safe abortion appears to be declining in many countries. In Poland, for example, it is practically prohibited. Women who become pregnant unintentionally, are forced to seek help abroad. An impossible step for many women. Desperately, they try various drastic and unsafe ways to terminate their pregnancy. Women, whose lives are endangered by pregnancy, are not helped.
The position of women in a general sense and specifically the woman’s right to dispose of and make decisions about her body (abortion = human right) therefore deserves more international attention and impact. In England and France, for example, the abortion pill is offered by post. Two countries that show that they fully respect women’s decision-making skills.
To draw attention to the difficult situation in which women can end up if they want to have an abortion and to break the taboo and shame surrounding abortion, the Ode to Women Foundation in collaboration with Vera Tax, member of the European Parliament, organizes the theater performance ‘Sixty Seconds’. A performance about what can go on in a woman’s head during the sixty seconds that she has to wait at least before the pregnancy test gives a result. ‘Sixty Seconds’ wants to contribute to the discussion around the question: What should we do to universally anchor the right to abortion – i.e., self-determination over your body as a woman – as a human right, so that it is no longer dependent on governments, political and religious movements?
The premiere of the theater performance ‘Sixty Seconds’ is Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Location: the European Parliament in Brussels.