Greenpoint Gazette

Exploring Religion and “No Wave” Feminism at the Lutheran Church

BY Tanay Warerkar

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Greenpoint’s Lutheran Church of the Messiah is hosting an all-inclusive feminist dialogue next week.

Pervasive Feminisms is the brainchild of North Brooklyn-based performance artist Coco Dolle. She is curating the show as part of her feminist art collective Milk and Night, which she founded in September last year.

The event will focus on what Dolle calls, “No Wave Feminism.”

“Milk and Night is dedicated towards creating an intergenerational form of feminism and this is why we’d rather say no wave because we embrace all the waves of feminism,” said Dolle. “We’ve invited traditional artists and activists from the 1970s as well as new activists and we want to create a symbiosis of all these schools of thought.”

But what is unique to the event is that it will explore the relationship between feminism, spirituality and religion, with particular consideration of the patriarchal origins and practice of religions. The event hopes to challenge the pre-existing notions that feminism and religion might not necessarily go along, and is trying to generate dialogue and discussion around the subject.

“At this church we want people to feel welcome as they are,” said Amy Kienzle, Pastor at the Lutheran Church. “We want people to bring their questions, their skepticisms, whatever they bring our hope is that by creating genuine community around various things like the dance groups, the farmer’s market, and events like this it will be transformative and beneficial for the entire community.”

Dolle is interested in exploring the future of feminist actions, and particularly how they’re influenced or changed with greater understanding of sexual orientation, gender, body image, and critiques of religion.

For Pervasive Feminisms, Dolle worked with composer and cultural arts coordinator, Baxton Alexander, who works at the Church, to curate the event, and together they tried to select a diverse range of feminist groups – academics, artists, and dancers, among several others.

“Amy [Kienzle] and I both feel a lot places have forgotten that the church’s responsibility is for the community and so opening up our doors for topics relating to gender, sexuality, and other feminist dialogues would be really beneficial for the community,” said Alexander.

The event will kick off at 4 p.m. with an academic discussion panel. This will be followed by a cocktail hour, a speech by Kienzle, and a series of performances incorporating music, dance and poetry.

Pervasive Feminisms, Lutheran Church of the Messiah, 129 Russell Street, Friday March 20, 4-10 p.m., for more information and to see the line up of performers and speakers, visit http://www.milkandnight.com/2015/ and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1290326.

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