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Akino Fukawa + Liana Lessor

“Sex Trade”

One strong concern and interest we have in common is feminism, particularly, violence against women. During a conversation on silenced women in Uganda, Susan Brownmiller’s Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape was brought up. This book explained purposes of rape throughout the history from ancient Greek warriors to American soldiers. In bold letters she strongly prints, “[Rape] is not a crime of lust but of violence and power”.

Despite the personal agony and global controversy, cases regarding violence against women are often overlooked. Inspired by Yoko Ono’s Touch Me (2008), we plan to open an charity bake sale that invites audiences to choose, buy, and eat bodily parts of a woman all while listening to orgasmic cries. Ono’s piece invites audiences to literally touch any portion of the naked female body (mouth, breasts, stomach, genitals, and feet). Essentially, it is a metaphor on women’s vulnerability to violence.

First, we will arrange a table with the suggestive baked goods and awareness poster like a traditional bake sale. Baked goods will range from cookies and cakes of female anatomies, aborted fetuses, and vulgar phrases (i.e. “Fuck You”, “You Pussy”). Also, we will feature a “Rape Kit Goodie Bag” filled with various cookies and a paper slip showing statistics of neglected rape examination kits (Detroit forensics counted 12,000 unsolved and untouched cases). Another special feature will be our gingerbread men cookies decorated in female clothing; a little sign by the cookies will ask, “What were you wearing?” During the bake sale, we will have a portable speaker disguised under a decorative cloth playing sexual exclamations. The bake sale will be running through lunch hours and the money made from the bake sale will go to a local women’s center.

For this project, our target audience will be college students on campus. Therefore, our bake sale will be held either in front of the Hillyer College auditorium or at the Gengras Student Union building on University of Hartford campus. Bake sale tables will be provide to us as long as we negotiate with the events coordinator of either locations. Also, speakers may be borrowed from the Hartford Art School Media Arts Department. As for the baked goods, everything will be homemade not only by us but also, potentially, by volunteers. We will also have promotional items such as flyers and business cards to promote the local women’s center.