Violence Against Violence Against Women: An Avant-Garde for the Times

  • Dianne Chisholm University of Alberta


While feminism has successfully alerted public reaction to violence against women, it must become more active in confronting, representing and transforming that violence. Against the highly publicized "culture of violence" presently terrorizing women across North America, feminism must mobilize an aggressive counter-culture, an avant-garde capable of putting audiences and readers "in touch" with endemic violence against women's responsiveness. A contemporary feminist avant-garde might model itself after the artistic activism of the historical avant-garde, including the tradition of manifesto art that has appeared sporadically in the 20th century. In the wake of the "Montreal massacre," no such feminist avant-garde has emerged although national newspapers confirm a growing violenceagainst women and feminists themselves. This author thus believes that the basis for a feminist cultural front exists, and that it must come forward now to activate solidarity in diversity.
Original Research