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fierce pussy: Old school activists still relevant


It is hard to imagine a time without a home computer and a printer to produce the materials one needs to have your voice heard on a topic. But this is the realities of the era that would produce fierce pussy, a collective of queer women artists in New York City in 1991.

Their "giving a care" drive in the face of a nation’s complacent silence as the raging AIDS epidemic was killing so many people sparked a new era of activism that feels very DIY by the standards of today’s tools. 

Because of their contributions, they were able to mobilize folks around LGBT rights, but also ushered in via their group, fierce pussy, a lesbian identity and visibility we had not seen before.

Over the years, fierce pussy projects have included wheat pasting handmade posters on the street, renaming New York City streets after prominent lesbian heroines, re-designing the restroom at the LGBT community center, harnessing PDF’s for activism, and even venturing into video production by creating PSAs. The body of their work has been the subject of numerous installations and exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world.

On Thursday, Feb. 15, fierce pussy—who is known for using literally almost any creative means necessary like old typewriters, found photographs, their own baby pictures, and the printing supplies and equipment accessible in their day jobs — will be at Grand Valley State University's Allendale campus for a special lecture on their artwork in the area of political art. 

For those who are curious about the power of artists collectives or are just curious about the viewpoints of artists who during the AIDS crisis tried just about everything to turn the tide on this epidemic, then this is a historic opportunity for our community to experience. 

fierce pussy’s appearance here in West Michigan is also tied to events happening at GVSU starting Feb. 14. 
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