Kathleen Landy is the Founder and President of The Feminist Institute
Kathleen Landy is the Founder and President of The Feminist Institute, digitizing the archival records of feminist activity since the 1960s and the life papers of innovative women in all fields of human endeavor. An early-in-life feminist through her involvement with Punk music and the downtown art scene in the 1980s, Landy championed the work of women artists and other alternative cultural contributors. She co-owned and directed LiebmanMagnan Gallery in Chelsea from 1997 to 2003, focusing on young emerging artists including Tania Bruguera, Karen Finley, Valeska Soares, and Jana Sterbak. And continued that work through smARTadvisory, an advisory firm specializing in contemporary art. She has published in ARTS Magazine, World Art, ARTAsiaPacific and Asian Art News. Landy is a member of the Hunter College Art Advisory Board, and is actively involved in TimeIn Children’s Art Initiative, MoMA/PS1, and the C12 Fellowship Award for Hunter MFA graduates, and the Feminist Council for Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Landy has a BA from Villanova University and an MA in Art History from Hunter College where her experiences in feminist scholarship framed her vision for the founding of The Feminist Institute.
What brought you to Davos 2019?
In December 2018, TFI partnered with The Female Quotient and SAP to celebrate women artists at Art Basel Miami Beach. Through our successful collaboration on the Girls’ Lounge event in Miami, The Female Quotient invited us to participate in The Equality Lounge in Davos in 2019 and The Feminist Portfolio project. As the founder of The Feminist Institute (TFI), I am interested in connecting with other feminists working in all aspects of our shared culture and want to influence the future of feminism in line with TFI’s goals. What better place to do that than the annual convening of the world's corporate, political and economic leadership? I traveled to Davos to be a part of the Feminists at Davos panel in The Equality Lounge and to help facilitate The Feminist Portfolio project. We will also partner with The Feminist Portfolio to organize an exhibition and public programming for the Portfolio in Fall 2019 during the UN General Assembly in New York.
Defining leadership moment at Davos:
The Feminist Institute is in its start-up phase and has the benefit of pliancy in our early growth. Davos gave me the opportunity to connect with other leaders and founders and to deepen my understanding of our overlapping goals as we develop our programming. It was inspiring to also have the opportunity to influence others with TFI's approach and framing. In particular, as a digital archiving project committed to building an online repository of feminist material, TFI is also committed to addressing search bias in the way users find information online. Having already admired her work before meeting her in Davos, exchanging ideas with the Poet of Code, Joy Buolamwini was a leadership highlight. Joy's research into and public presentation of the realities of search bias rooted in race and gender brings activism and art together in way that resonates with all we do at TFI. Much of our archiving work focuses on the lives and contributions of feminists who use art to engage audiences in their activism. Feminism is collaborative and it was a defining leadership moment in Davos to connect with other feminists doing related work and envision all the future work we can do together.
Personal motivation to advocate for women and girls:
As a girl, I was drawn to counter-culture expressions of personal identity in response to the sexist limitations of the repressive conventional culture around me. I want to work in ways that change our culture to embrace equal opportunity for personal expression especially for women and girls!
Where can people learn more about you and your key projects?
Please follow us on social media at Instagram: @thefeministinstitute;
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/feministinstitute/ and Twitter: @TheFeministInst. Also look for our growing online presence and digital archive at thefeministinstitute.org.
Equal digital access to feminist achievements yields more opportunities for innovation across the disciplines. Equalization through digitization.