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Mass Murders of Women In Juarez Rally Drexel to Art and Activism

April 16, 2010

Ni Una Mas, Not One More: The Juarez Murders is a powerful two-month long exhibition featuring more than 70 works of art by 20 international artists, including works or participation by Yoko Ono, Kiki Smith, Nancy Spero, Irish activist painter Brian Maguire and local artists Arlene Love and Jen Blazina organized by Drexel University through a collaboration of academic, student and institutional departments. The goal of Ni Una Mas is to raise awareness about gender violence and, in particular, crimes against women in the Mexican border town of Juarez.

During the exhibition, Ni Una Mas will hold multiple events including lectures, concerts, film screenings and ARTMARCH, a public rally/performance arts piece designed to raise awareness against these crimes. Work of noted forensic artist and Philadelphia native Frank Bender will also be included in the exhibition. Ni Una Mas will demonstrate to students and the Philadelphia region that art can be a force for social change. The exhibition will run May 15 -July 16 at the new site of the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery (3401 Filbert Street.). An opening reception and tour of the exhibition will take place at the gallery following ARTMARCH from 5-7 p.m., Saturday, May 15.

Ni Una Mas will kick off with ARTMARCH on the afternoon of Saturday, May 15. ARTMARCH is a mass demonstration/performance art piece that will include more than 700 young women from Drexel University dressed in the iconic pink color of the victims’ memorial crosses in Juarez. Participants will march for social awareness and justice through the streets surrounding Drexel to a rally at the 33rd street Armory. Organized by Drexel University and Amnesty International and featuring noted El Paso Times reporter and activist Diana Washington Valdez and Maricela Ortiz founder of Mothers of Juarez-- now called Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa, ARTMARCH will provide a forum to speak out against these crimes, which have been going on for over 17 years. No individuals have yet been tried or brought to justice. Events in conjunction with Ni Una Mas:

A screening of the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, is planned for Tuesday, May 18 in the Mitchell Auditorium at Drexel’s Bossone Research Enterprise Center (3128 Market St.) at 7 p.m. Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the riveting, true story of the unsung heroines of Liberia, who, armed only with white t-shirts and courage, brought down a dictator and ended a long, brutal war. Producer Abigail Disney will be present for a question and answer session following the screening.

A concert performed by Intercultural Journeys, a musical ensemble comprised of Udi Bar David of the Philadelphia Orchestra and other noted musicians who bridge cultural divides through music is scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 19 in the Pearlstein Gallery (3401 Filbert St.). Bar David says of his belief that music can change the world, “While we may feel the challenges are too great, we must find a way. We owe it to ourselves and to our children.” As Margaret Meade said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world . . . . indeed it is the only thing that ever has!”

A film screening of Mexican director Carlos Carrera’s film Backyard ("El Traspatio") that stars Jimmy Smits and tells a harrowing story about the disturbing deaths and disappearances of young women in Juarez. The story follows police officer Blanca Bravo (Ana de la Reguera) who arrives from Mexico City to investigate these crimes, many of which occur to women working in multi-national factories or maquiladoras. Blanca discovers a complicit police force, an indifferent local population and chilling entrepreneurs like Mickey Santos (Smits). Through his film, Carrera denounces these culprits and illuminates the most devastating truth that these murders continue to happen and have unfortunately become commonplace.

Sponsoring Partners:

Additional Ni Una Mas events are in the planning stage and will include the participation of sponsoring Drexel partners from the College of Arts and Sciences, Goodwin College, Earle Mack School of Law, Pennoni Honors College, the Intercultural Engagement and Diversity Initiative, Office of Multicultural Programs, Office of Student Life, Intercultural Journeys and the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

About the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design: Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers 14 undergraduate and five graduate programs in media, design and the performing arts. The College empowers students by imparting the knowledge, skills and techniques needed to succeed in highly competitive creative fields. Programs are taught in small studio settings, featuring hands-on learning and a faculty of industry practitioners who emphasize the use of the latest technologies. Westphal College is home to the Mandell Theater, the Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel’s cable television (DUTV) and radio (WKDU-FM) stations, the Rudman Institute for Entertainment Industry Studies, MAD Dragon Records and Drexel’s Historic Costume Collection.

In January 2009, the Westphal College received the single, largest philanthropic gift ever recorded at Drexel, $25 million. The gift is being used for the development and expansion of the college, including purchase of a 130,000 sq ft. Robert Venturi-designed building on Market St. The Venturi building is one of two that will serve as the new home for the design programs of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

Drexel is the premier co-operative education school in the United States and is a top-ranked, comprehensive, national research university. Allen Sabinson is the dean of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. For more information about the College, go to: www.drexel.edu/westphal.

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News Media Contacts:

Noah Cohen, Drexel News Bureau, 215-895-2705, 267-228-5599 (cell) or nyc@drexel.edu Zeek Weil, Westphal College, 215-895-2629 or zw36@drexel.edu Niki Gianakaris, Drexel News Bureau, 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or ngianakaris@drexel.edu

Spanish Language News Release below:

Asesinatos en Serie de Mujeres en Ciudad Juárez

May 11, 2010

Philadelphia, PA Ni Una Más: Los asesinatos de Juárez es una poderosa exhibición de arte que incluye más de 70 obras creadas por 20 artistas internacionales, incluyendo a Yoko Ono, Kiki Smith, Nancy Spero,y el activista pintor irlandés Brian Maguire además de artistas locales como Arlene Love y Jen Blazina. El objetivo de Ni Una Más es crear conciencia sobre la violencia entre géneros y en particular los crímenes cometidos en contra las mujeres mexicanas de la ciudad fronteriza Juárez. Esta exhibición es organizada por la universidad de Drexel junto a la colaboración académica estudiantil y el departamento institucional.

Durante la exhibición, Ni Una Más se realizaran múltiples eventos incluyendo lecturas, conciertos, documentales y ARTMARCH, un rally/presentación publica de piezas de arte diseñadas para crear conciencia de la magnitud e injusticia cometida por medio de estos crímenes. La obra realizada por el artista forense y nativo de Philadelphia Frank Bender que también será parte de la exhibición. Ni Una Más demostrara a los estudiantes y a la región de Philadelphia que el arte puede ser el eje inicial de un cambio social.

La exhibición se llevara acabo desde el 15 de mayo a el 16 de junio en la gallería de Leonard Pearlstein Gallery ( 3401 Filbert Street). La recepción de la apertura y tour de la exhibición se realizara en la galería seguido a la marcha ARTMARCH que se llevara a cabo comenzando desde las 3 p.m. el sábado 15 de mayo.

ARTMARCH es una demostración y presentación de una pieza de arte que incluirá más de 700 mujeres jóvenes estudiantes de la universidad de Drexel portando el representativo color rosa de la victimas de ciudad Juárez. Los participantes marcharan con el fin de defender la justicia y crear conciencia en la sociedad sobre los crimenes cometidos en ciudad Juárez. La marcha se realizara alrededor de las calles que rodean la universidad de Drexel terminando en el rally en la 33rd calle Armory. Organizado por Drexel University y Amnesty International junto a la activista y reportera de El Paso Times Diana Washington y Maricela Ortiz, fundadora de la Madres de Juárez ahora llamadas Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa, ARTMARCH proveerán un fórum para opinar en contra de los crímenes, cometidos hace 17 años. No habido penalidad alguna para los perpetradores de estos crímenes. ###

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