Still from Goodbye Thelma (2019), a film by Jessica Bardsley that will be screened as part of Women In Public (courtesy of the artist)

One of the most enigmatic tropes in literature, art, and cinema may well be the female traveler or drifter, a character who embodies at once purpose and aimlessness, freedom and agency. Women In Public, a miniseries of multidisciplinary programs presented as part of Brooklyn Falls for France — a cultural season organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation — will explore themes of place and wandering with a focus on the female experience. Curated by Kara Oehler, Courtney Stephens, and Mathilde Walker-Billaud, and jointly hosted by the Brooklyn nonprofits Triangle Arts Association and UnionDocs, “Women In Public” will consist of two lectures and screenings as well as a three-day filmmaking workshop.

The series kicks off on Thursday, January 23 with the visual lecture “Itinerant Women,” during which Stephens, Jessica Mitrani, and Mitra Parineh will read passages from French author Nathalie Léger’s books Suite for Barbara Loden (2016) and La Robe Blanche (forthcoming fall 2020). The reading will be accompanied by screenings of excerpts from films such as Barbara Loden’s Wanda (1970), the subject of Léger’s book and a classic of American independent cinema that follows a listless Pennsylvania housewife on the run as she ambles and meanders decisively towards nowhere in particular. 

The workshop “Critical Terrain — Travel and Motion as a Documentary Practice” takes as its point of departure the idea of travel in nonfiction filmmaking, examining both films and artworks that require thoughtful considerations of site, land, territory, and their intertwined and complicated histories. Led by Stephens, an LA-based filmmaker and programmer, the workshop hopes to inspire artists interested in creating films in transit and address key issues associated with the medium.

Finally, writer Elvia Wilk and filmmaker Jessica Bardsley will lead a screening of short films and a talk at UnionDocs titled “Gone to Earth.” Discussion and content will touch on the intersection of nature, wilderness, and women’s bodies as they occupy and move through these spaces. 

Both the lecture and screening are open to the public, but require advance registration. The “Itinerant Women” lecture is free with a suggested donation of $5-10; “Gone to Earth” is $10. Early bird registration for the workshop continues through January 13th, and costs $350. More information about how to RSVP and a complete schedule of events can be found at Brooklyn Falls for France.

When: January 23-26, 2020 (lectures/screenings on January 23 and 28; workshop runs from January 24-26)

Where: Triangle Arts Association, 20 Jay Street, Suite 317 & 318, Brooklyn, NY and UnionDocs, 322 Union Avenue, New York, NY 11211

Valentina Di Liscia is the News Editor at Hyperallergic. Originally from Argentina, she studied at the University of Chicago and is currently working on her MA at Hunter College, where she received the...