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Peru's Feminist Activist-Artist: María María Acha-Kutscher

María María Acha-Kutscher, born in Peru in 1968, has a triple role as an activist, feminist, and visual artist. Her active online presence on her website, allows netizens to enjoy and share her work. Furthermore, all her images are available under a Creative Commons license, allowing us to share her work in this post.

Acha-Kutscher's biography of Acha-Kutscher explains:

In her work there are two fundamental axes: a feminist proposal and the openness of creative process to society.  She generates projects on women['s] historical memory and raise[s] problems or situations related with the fact of being born [a] woman according to the political or cultural context. Her work plays a dual role: being an artistic product and also an instrument that covers a social need and also contributes to political transformations.

In the following video (with English subtitles), Acha-Kutscher presents her series ‘Les Spectaculaires‘ from the Womankind project, “a wide range production of digital photographic collages”:

In the blog Mujeres Mundi, Xaviera Medina de Albrand dedicates a post to Acha-Kutscher entitled, ‘Twice María: An artist working for women.’ The post provides a brief biography:

María María takes her grandparents’ surnames Acha-Kutscher as her stage name. Born in Lima (Peru) where she studied at the Faculty of Arts of the Pontifical Catholic University. In 1991, left Peru fascinated by Mexico, where lived her grandfather – the renowned art critic Juan Acha - living there for 10 years. She worked as a graphic designer and publicist. Until 2000 when she created her own studio associated with her mother, the documentary filmmaker Maria Rodriguez.

Xaviera continues:

At twelve years old María María was emerging as a causes defender but the idea of being an activist artist was still vague ”I said ‘I wanna be a feminist artist’ when I arrived in Spain. When you are so far from your country, it helps you to see things that do not have seen from your own land and so, it emerges emotions and interests that you were not aware. I think all women have had at least a bad personal experience of womanhood. Women are the population group most marginalized over the history of humanity and this encourages fighting, contributing and joining with other women to create consciences to give our girls a better future”.

Important Dates, September 1, 1970, New York. Hundreds of women march through 5th Avenue reclaiming gender quality and women's rights on the 50th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Drawing by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Important Dates, September 1, 1970, New York. Hundreds of women march through 5th Avenue reclaiming gender equality and women's rights on the 50th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Drawing by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Xaviera's post also highlights some of Acha-Kutscher's recent projects, like Women Working for Women. Acha-Kutscher's website explains:

Women Working for Women is a project for public spaces that recovers the women's historic memory through portraits of female personalities who have forged change and fought to improve the situation for their gender. The project also includes visual registers based on press images of the female memory in public protests. Each image is the result of an investigation in various archives that tells us a story of struggle that has brought important changes to the way we perceive gender and, consequently, to the history of humankind. The elaboration of each portrait are made digitally and printed in large format tarp that refers to the language of political and commercial messages that abound in Latin American cities.

The following portraits from the series ‘Visual Bios‘ are part of the Women Working for Women project:

Guerrilla Girls, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Guerrilla Girls, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Mexican journalist Lindia Cacho, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Mexican journalist Lindia Cacho, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

In a similar series titled ‘Behind Him‘, Acha-Kutscher presents “8 visual biographies of heterosexual artists couples”, where she highlights the life and work of the woman in the relationship:

Behind Him- Frida [Kahlo] and Diego, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Behind Him- Frida [Kahlo] and Diego, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Behind Him - Dora and Picasso, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Behind Him – Dora and Pablo, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Acha-Kutscher is also dedicating a series to the women who are participating in the ‘Outraged’ (Indignados) protests in Spain. She explains:

It consists of a visual memory of women in public protests in Spain in 2012-2013. The results are drawing[s] based on press photographs and other[s] taken by witness[es] of these events.

Outraged before being born, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Outraged before being born, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Indignadas, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Indignadas, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Indignadas, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Indignadas, by María María Acha-Kutscher (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

You can follow the ‘Indignadas’ series on Facebook. Visit Acha-Kutscher's website to see more of her projects and publications.

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