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The Guerilla Girls to appear at Loyola University New Orleans on March 7

Loyola press release - February 25, 2002

(New Orleans)—As part of the celebration of March as Women's History Month, the Guerilla Girls will perform at Loyola University New Orleans. The Loyola University Women's Resource Center and the Women's Issues Organization are sponsoring the free presentation on March 7, at 7 p.m. in Roussel Hall, 6363 St. Charles Ave.

With the current awareness of feminism and multiculturalism, the early work of the Guerilla Girls seems prophetic. Formed in 1985, the Guerilla Girls are a group of anonymous women activists who fight for gender and racial equality by appearing publicly, wearing fake fur gorilla masks. Members are artists, curators, art historians and others who have seen and experienced discrimination in the white male-dominated world of art. They know firsthand the near total exclusion of the work of female artists and artists of color in museums and galleries. Although the group's focus began with the art world, it has expanded to include the worlds of film, theater and politics.

The name of the group allows them multiple levels of meaning of who and what they are about. They wear gorilla masks to hide their identities yet the spelling of the name 'guerilla' represents their activist role. Being masked also allows them to join a long tradition of masked avengers like Robin Hood and Wonder Woman.

They have examined different aspects of sexism and racism in the culture at large, not just the art world. They use tactics such as posters, billboards, bus ads, magazine spreads, letter-writing campaigns and holding rallies to lead to discussion of sexism and racism. Topics have included the Gulf War, the homeless, rape, Clarence Thomas and anorexic models in women's fashion magazines. Because of its success in New York City where the group began, groups in other cities are following the Guerilla Girls' example.

For more information, call Susanne Dietzel, director of Women's Resource Center, 865-7880.