“Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: International Posters on Gender-based Inequality, Violence and Discrimination” is an exhibition of 100 posters designed by international artists. Jan Ballard, instructor of design, brought 24 posters from the collection to the TCU campus to bring awareness to and facilitate conversations on the struggles of women around the world.
Back in 2019, Ballard was a grant recipient and publication designer of “Be a Girl Champion” by Chloe Seraspe Reynaldo, a collection of stories highlighting gender injustice in South Asia. The collaboration was made possible through the Quality Enhancement Program, and it allowed Ballard to invite Reynaldo, who lives in the Philippines, to campus as a Global Innovator. The Global Innovator program brings groundbreaking individual undertaking transformative work in their region to the TCU campus every semester to engage across the campus.
Together, Ballard and Reynaldo explored young women’s struggles with being female and how their rights are often unequal to male peers. While working on the book, Ballard observed the large percentage of young women on campus and wanted to help them “recognize their sisters across the world and their struggles.” The collaboration sparked a desire to bring a broader conversation about gender rights to TCU.
The International Poster Exhibition
Another opportunity presented itself when Ballard watched a virtual artist talk and tour with guests Elizabeth Resnick, curator of “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: International Posters on Gender-based Inequality, Violence and Discrimination,” and Anita Kunz, a renowned artist involved in the project. During the panel, she learned about the exhibition of 100 posters created by both men and women to champion women’s empowerment and challenge every citizen to advocate for equality. Resnick and Kunz discussed the subject matter’s continued relevance since the official premiere of the exhibition in the President’s Gallery at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2015.
Ballard reviewed the compelling posters designed by prolific artists, including Shepard Fairey, a Cesar Chavez Legacy Awards Honoree, and Anita Kunz, a featured artist in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution. Paired with recent uprisings in the Middle East, the rights of women wearing hijabs and the change in reproductive rights in Texas, she decided it was time to bring the exhibition to TCU. Before this, the exhibition toured the United States; Crete, Greece; Seoul, South Korea; San Luis Potosi, Mexico; Warsaw and Krakow, Poland; Limerick, Ireland; Zaragoza, Spain; and Taipei, Taiwan.
Bringing the Conversation to TCU’s Campus
Ballard applied for a TCU College of Fine Arts Programming Grant supporting diversity, equity and inclusion to bring 24 posters from the exhibition to campus. She invited faculty across disciplines of fine arts and gender studies to select which pieces to display on the bridges between Mary Couts Burnett Library and Rees-Jones Hall during the fall 2022 semester. In addition to Ballard, the selection committee included:
- Sara-Jayne Parsons, Ph.D., Director, The Art Galleries at TCU, College of Fine Arts
- Tracy Hull, Dean of the Burnett Library
- Nino Testa, Ph.D., Associate Director of Women & Gender Studies Department in AddRan College of Liberal Arts.
“It truly is a display to show international designers and timely issues on the struggle of women everywhere. Many students on campus are young women, with out-of-state students having different rights than their peers from Texas.”
TCU joins galleries worldwide in presenting visual artifacts that promote human rights discussions. Those important conversations align with TCU’s mission of creating thoughtful leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.
“Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: International Posters on Gender-based Inequality, Violence and Discrimination” is on display until Jan. 2, 2023, at the Mary Couts Burnett Library.