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Inspired by the League of Lady Wrestlers that originated in Dawson City, Canada, the South East Women Wrestlers was formed in Athens, Georgia in the summer of 2017 to continue the tradition of subverting patriarchal oppression and the male gaze through spectacle. The exhibition, organized by MFA-candidate in Printmaking + Book Arts, Kaleena Stasiak, presents more of an art performance than actual wrestling league as these female and female-identifying performers attempt to reclaim the sport from hyper-masculinity and subvert sexualized stereotypes of females by portraying a plethora of definitions of femininity. Aside from an entertaining event of throw-downs, elaborate costumes and scripted role-play, SEWW promises a body-positive space free from the male gaze where fantasy alter egos can be constructed, cultivated and performed. The humor and absurdity of these performances comes with the serious promise of a moment of optimism and possibility in the face of oppressive cultural values in order to promote empowerment, gender equity and community.
The South East Women Wrestlers is an art collective that consists of artists and art enthusiasts with diverse backgrounds who are currently based in Athens, Georgia. They believe in the creation of hope and suspension of disbelief through theatrical role-play.