Interview with Judith Williamson
Published in Starship #7, 2004
You have spoken at a number of conferences recently such as “The New Sexism” at the University of Brighton. Following your article “Retrosexism”, first published in the London based “Eye Magazine” in the summer of 2003, it seems that sexism is being debated again today. What impact do you think this discussion can have?
I hope it does become discussed a bit more! I’ve been encouraged by having a big response to my work on this issue. The article in Eye magazine focuses mainly on images - although that doesn’t mean I think sexism is only about images. But I have had a lot of women telling me that they had found particular images disturbing and wanted to criticise them but felt not able to. The article tried to address this phenomenon. The term and the very concept of sexism have fallen away in recent years, certainly in Britain. Then there is a strong fear - partly based on the caricature of the women’s movement in the popular press - of seeming to be humourless or being outdated. In presenting my material at conferences and so on I have talked to a lot of women, and they have said that on these issues they often operate self-censorship. Women are not feeling confident enough just to say: “We don’t like this!”
Lu Hao, landscape series, 2007
published in: The Mix, Issue No. 15, May 2008
As I left the S-Bahn on a late Saturday evening at the beginning of March with my broken small bicycle, I wanted to take a cab but was lacking the required loose cash. In front of the cash machine a long queue was already waiting – as it was Saturday night – and likewise behind me there were already three guys who had bow ties attached to themselves for going out and actually looked like the noisy mob in the trailer of Antonioni’s Blow up, Andrew 3000 of Outkast and Kanye West at the same time. They were in their mid-twenties and standing behind me and wanted to know if I really was wearing Bapesta-sneakers of A Bathing Ape and where did I get them. It was neither in the hard to find shop in Tokyo, London or New York but in a market hall in Beijing that
A discussion with the climate expert Yu Jie on China’s attitude toward climate change. erschienen in: Spector cut+paste, No. 4, March 2008
In January 2008 I flew to China for five weeks. I wanted to find out whether the climate discourse had attained the same level of importance in China as in the West. At the end of January, central and western China experienced the most violent snowstorms in fifty years. The main theme in the English language state newspaper China Daily was not economic growth or preparations for the Olympic Games, but the daily struggle against the snow. As this occurred just before the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival celebrations, the effects of the extreme weather were dramatised to a national catastrophe. During this period (like Christmas in Germany), hundreds of millions of Chinese people travel home to see their families. Many migrant workers were stranded for days on end – on their only holidays – in the main railway stations because overhead cables and roads were frozen solid. The Chinese President Hu Jintao, a politician who normally avoids the media, made a special trip to the crowded railway stations to show his support. In Beijing, as is normal at this time of year, it had not rained or snowed for several weeks.