This US-based artiste uses the medium of sound to cut through gender disparities
We have stepped into an era where a lot of our conversations revolve around the concept of empowerment. Yet, most of us are clueless when it comes to the steps to be taken to truly empower a person or a specific community. Laura C Wright, an artiste turned educator from the US, is hoping to address this conundrum through her ongoing series of talks and a hands-on workshop in the city, organised in association with Kochi Biennale.“In the public sphere, the voices of women, transgender, and non-binary people are often misrepresented or suppressed. When they are allowed to be heard, it is often through a filter of someone else’s framing or editing. Understanding the tools of communication, and ways of creating a perspective that stands out, will enable gender minorities to take control of their own narratives and be heard,” says Laura, when asked about the core idea behind her project. An active promoter of sustainable art education practices, Laura has previously collaborated with educators and teachers in places like Ghana to nurture participatory practices that bring unheard voices to the forefront.
Having earned two specialised degrees in MFA, focussing on subjects such as fiber arts and digital arts, Laura stresses on the need to break the rituals of technology. “I am encouraging the participants to learn the basics of making and editing audio recordings, developing podcasts, creating small speakers, and hacking basic sound devices to create immersive and sculptural sound environments, and performances,” clarifies the 44-year-old, adding that she devises curriculums that are oriented towards creative, communal problem-solving and prototyping, rather than technical mastery. By venturing beyond the set boundaries within the audio-centric communication, this Washington-based artiste will be talking about using the platform to discuss personal and local challenges in gender equality, in an engaging manner. Commenting on the clickbait-centric discussions we tend to come across through new media, Laura tells us that the key is to find restorative ways to combat misogyny, which will make it possible to take part in such conversations within a system of reconciliation.
Laura’s community project in Kochi will be displayed at Pepper House. From March 16 onwards
— Arya P Dinesh