Caught by the River


21st October 2023

RE/SISTERS: A Lens on Gender and Ecology — a major group exhibition surveying the relationship between gender and ecology to identify the systemic links between the oppression of women and the degradation of the planet — is now open at the Barbican Art Gallery until 14 January 2024.

Fina Miralles, Relacions. Relació del cos amb elements naturals. El cos cobert de palla [Documentació de l’acció realitzada el gener de 1975 a Sabadell, Espanya] / Relationship: The Body’s Relationship with Natural Elements. The Body Covered with Straw, 1975. Courtesy of MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona

This expansive exhibition brings together photography, film, and installations by nearly 50 international women and gender non-conforming artists whose work is united across decades, continents, and media by an urgent engagement with, and protest against, the ongoing ecological crisis. Platforming work by artists from the Global Majority and Indigenous peoples, RE/SISTERS explores the indivisible bond between environmental and social justice, offering a vision of an equitable society wherein people and planet alike are venerated and treated fairly.

With women and marginalised communities often placed at the forefront of advocating and caring for the planet, RE/SISTERS offers a depiction of nature that explicitly resists the mechanical, patriarchal order that is organised around the exploitation of natural resources and the oppression of “othered” bodies. Across roughly 250 works, the exhibition presents a roadmap for creative forms of civil disobedience and protest: a lesser explored, cautiously optimistic route to reconsidering our relationship to the Earth and our problematic co-existence with it. Tackling unequal power structures which oppress and threaten both marginalised communities and our precious planet, RE/SISTERS advocates for empowerment in the face of destruction, reflecting a radical and intersectional brand of eco-feminism that is diverse, inclusive, and decolonial.

Maggie Murray, Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp – Embrace the Base action 12/12/1982, 1982
© Maggie Murray / Format Photographers Archive at Bishopsgate Institute. Courtesy of Bishopsgate Institute

RE/SISTERS brings together a global array of nearly 50 pioneering artists, including: Laura Aguilar (US); melanie bonajo (NL); Judy Chicago (US); Minerva Cuevas (Mexico); Agnes Denes (US); La Toya Ruby Frazier (US); Anne Duk Hee Jordan (Korea/Germany); Barbara Kruger (US); Ana Mendieta (Cuba); Otobong Nkanga (Nigeria); Ingrid Pollard (UK); Xaviera Simmons (US); and Pamela Singh (India). At its core, the exhibition seeks to platform the urgent work of artists from the Global South and Indigenous communities, including: Poulomi Basu (India); Simryn Gill (Malaysia); Taloi Havini (Bougainville / Australia); Gauri Gill (India), as well as lesser-known but vital work from artists such as Mónica de Miranda (Angola/Portugal); Josèfa Ntjam (France); Zina Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria); and Carolina Caycedo (Colombia).

RE/SISTERS is open Saturday – Wednesday 10am – 6pm (last entry 5pm), and Thursday – Friday 10am – 8pm (last entry 7pm), with Pay What You Can visits taking place every Friday from 5 – 8pm.

Tickets and more information are available here.

Pamela Singh, Chipko Tree Huggers of the Himalayas #74, 1994 © Pamela Singh. Courtesy of sepiaEYE

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (We won’t play nature to your culture), 1983. Courtesy of Glenstone Museum, Potomac, Maryland