ASU's Performance in the Borderlands' Beyond "Miss Representation" Aims to Open Dialogue on Women's Representation in Media

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Courtesy of Mary Stephens
One of ASU's cultural leaders and producer of Performance in the Borderlands, Mary Stephens, has created an event to help raise awareness and encourage open dialogue about women's representation in the media, particularly women of color, LGBTQ community, class, and citizenship status.

Beyond "Miss Representation" is presented under the Performance in the Borderlands initiative, which Stephens says is a "research, education and public programming initiative dedicated to the understanding and promotion of cultural performance."

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The free event will feature the documentary "Miss Representation" by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

The film's premise is focused on the media's misrepresentations of women that lead to under-representation of women in positions of power and influence. While the film did a great job covering women's misrepresentations in media, it predominantly focused on white, heterosexual women, neglecting women of color, LGBTQ communities, and undocumented women who live in the US. To help bridge the gap between the two, a panel of professors, artists, students, and activists will lead a discussion with audience members about the diversity of women's experiences in communities.

Stephens says she was inspired to do the show after she and another fellow ASU education director put together a cultural event called "Breaking Boundaries" last September.

"We had 250 people come out to talk about art/social change. So it is clear the need for public discourse is high and desired in our community," said said Stephens. "Many people asked for more of these socio-artistic-political happenings to occur, so I knew we needed to follow up with something important. More importantly, the need for events that speak to diverse audiences (race/class/gender/sexuality/age), and open up new ideas for a variety of people is of the utmost importance. My goal is to include as many local artists and thinkers as possible in hopes to grow our artistic/intellectual culture in Phoenix."


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