The contribution of Mujeres Creando – a collective of urban activists, feminists and anarchists based in La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia – to the 31st Bienal is Espacio para abortar [Space to Abort]. The project consists of an urban intervention, which is a public and participative procession-performance against the dictatorship of patriarchy exercised over women’s bodies through a giant mobile uterus paraded and then temporarily placed in the Bienal pavilion. Once it sits in the Bienal, the idea for it is to open a space for debate and dialogue. In other words, the project creates a platform for discussing the meaning of abortion, the colonisation of the female body and what free choice, the right to decide and freedom of conscience actually mean in contemporary democracies – especially those in South American countries where abortion is illegal and penalised.
Throughout the duration of the Bienal, materials and voices from the local context will be included in order to identify and mobilise the ‘collective uterus’ as a space of enunciation that incubates everybody. Ultimately, if we can speak of a collective uterus in São Paulo, it should be equally Bolivian, Italian and Japanese, Brazilian or Portuguese; it should have many colours and heterogeneous cultural bonds; it should have a colonial past and integrate global migration flows in an industrial reality, against the backdrop of one of the biggest financial centres in the contemporary world.
Founded in La Paz in 1992, Mujeres Creando is an internationalist movement of working women (prostitutes, poets, journalists, market sellers, domestic workers, artists, dressmakers, teachers, etc.) fighting against sexism and institutionalised patriarchy in Bolivia and the rest of the world. With this goal, the members of Mujeres Creando operate like guerrilla fighters, opening spaces of visibility and uncovering others with their bodies, in the street, in the mass media and in international contemporary art spaces, inserting iconic slogans in its ideological circuits, for instance: ‘You can’t decolonise without depatriarchising!’, or ‘There is nothing more similar to a right-wing sexist than a left-wing sexist!’ – MJHC