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Bodies: Transdisciplinarity as a Power

June 25th, 26th, and 27th, Brunel, University of London.


Beyond Gender: The Future of Being Human

June 22,d, 23rd, and 24th, 2023 hosted by Ceres Gallery, 547 W. 27th Street, in Chelsea, NYC.

Relational Space brought together twelve international Scientists, Activists and Artists to blend talents and expertise in three,  facilitated 90-minute zoom sessions.The culmination of these hierarchical, self-organizing collaborative sessions was the co-curated, immersive exhibition:

Beyond Gender: The Future of Being Human 

View a Recording of this Event Here: 








While our modern world is diverse and complex, the traditional gender binary assumes there are only two options for living in the world (male/female). In actuality, gender identity (a person’s internal, deeply rooted sense of self), gender expression (how a person externally expresses their gender identity) and sexual orientation (a person’s interest in people of the same/similar gender, different gender(s), or no genders) are diverse, dynamic and lie on a continuum. Further, a person’s gender experience is not always stable or linear throughout the lifespan. People are multi-faceted. Reducing our complexity to a binary identity diminishes our shared humanity.


Gender is a social construction that varies with culture, and historical era. The rigid expectations and lifelong influence of societal beliefs about gender deeply affects us all – for all of our lives. From birth, we are inundated with specific gender messages that define the prevailing gender hierarchy, oppress and disempower women and LGBTQIA persons, and bestow unearned privilege to cis-het men, as seen in the U.S. Supreme Court decision removing women’s bodily autonomy, a right that have been in place for nearly 50 years - with zero restrictions on men’s bodies ever being legislated. The gender binary plots out a trajectory for being cis-het men and cis-het women that are restrictive and unhealthy - that perpetuate inequality, oppression, violence, dissatisfaction and shame. For many people the gender ideologies that govern their thoughts, feelings and behaviors remain invisible.


What would a future look like where we were simply allowed to show up as we are?  How would the human trajectory change with intersectional perspectives? We cannot tackle climate change if we don’t understand that 80% of the people displaced from its effects are women and girls. How can we advance women’s rights when women of color routinely confront racism, poverty and inequality’s other entwined injustices—and have been historically excluded from social movements, including feminism?


Currently, gender expectations do not allow flexibility in individual expression. People are constrained by gender stereotypes and must often disconnect from their authentic selves. The pervasive masculinity ideology says men must reject any part of themselves that does not meet up to the tough standard of masculinity. Globally, research shows strong correlations between gender role stress and violence against women and non-conforming peoples. Masculinity’s role in physical and gun violence stems in part from men’s difficulty identifying and describing their emotional experiences, learning instead to transform their vulnerable emotions into anger and aggression.


Unfortunately, attitudes about gender have become more polarized amid the pandemic resulting in the strengthening of regressive, stereotypic viewpoints regarding non-conforming identities, domestic violence, reproductive autonomy, and moreover, gender roles, resources and rights.


By embracing identities in all their forms, can we challenge and dismantle a power structure that stifles every person’s right to self-determination? What would be the impact of all humans learning to be emotionally connected and inclusive, irrespective of gender stereotypes? How would the world change if we were equal in our caregiving and power and revered a range of gender identities and human expression? How would society need to evolve for this transformation?



Long COVID – We Are Here! 

April, 2021

Long COVID: We Are Here! brought together twelve international Scientists and Artists to blend talents and expertise in facilitated sessions and co-curate a virtual, immersive exhibition. This VR installation features new media formats that explore Long COVID’s debilitating effects on individual health and explores parallels with our society as a whole.

View the VR Exhibition Here: 

A real-time walk-through of the Virtual Reality Exhibition with a panel discussion with the Artists and Scientists who co-curate the show as well as a prestigious group of Long COVID medical experts - Clinicians and Researchers in the field of Long COVID and ME/CFS. 

View a Recording of this Event Here: 

This event is made possible by a City Artist Corps Grant presented - by The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), with support from the Mayor’s office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) as well as Queen’s Theater.


View Video Trailer for Event

(Trailer by Helen L. Collen; Voiceover by Phil Collen): 


Long COVID - We Are Here is a fearless exploration into the long-hauler experience. It aims to raise awareness about the impact of this disabling post-viral epidemic; open doors for the research/medical community already strained by the COVID-19 pandemic and compel the establishment of an international, funded research agenda; advocate for a global repository of articles, resources, therapeutics and treatment strategies; and, urge widespread physician training related to Long COVID.


Globally more than 50 million people have been confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 – more than 10 million in the U.S. alone. Ten to fifteen percent of people who contract the virus will experience enduring symptoms - meaning millions of people are long-haulers already, suffering from puzzling symptoms that affect the entire body. Long-COVID constitutes an epidemic by itself.


The long-term effects of COVID-19 are insidious and far-reaching. Long-haulers endure crushing, sustained symptoms ranging from extreme fatigue, dizziness and brain fog to neurologic, GI, cardiac, and/or cardiovascular distress. Nonetheless, some doctors routinely dismiss patient concerns as emotional problems such as depression or anxiety, and fail to provide needed medical support. The system is heavily taxed with the immediate concerns of the COVID pandemic. Further, the medical profession, as it stands, is comprised of highly specialized providers (e.g. allergists, cardiologists etc.), so treatment decisions are made within these narrow specialties. But the enduring impact of COVID-19 appears to be both systemic (i.e. impacting multiple organs) and idiosyncratic, according to each person’s unique physical response.


Further, research into long-COVID is sparse and underfunded. The impact of enduring symptomatology will have broad social impact on our health-care system and society as a whole; however, we have yet to initiate comprehensive, international research campaigns related to Long-COVID able to explore demographics, symptomatology or prognosis. Who are the long-haulers? What is happening within their bodies? What is their long-term prognosis? Pew Research Center (Oct, 2020) reported that we have no substantial data on the number of long-haulers or any detailed information like age, gender, medical histories or course of illness nor do we know if-or-when these symptoms might resolve. This leaves more than 7 million people to fend for themselves with what is a terrifying, life-altering chronic illness.


The paucity of funded research into long-COVID; the dearth of trained providers, treatment resources and holistic strategies; and, the frequent dismissal of individuals seeking medical care is unconscionable. What is needed is a well-funded comprehensive research campaign that translates into evidenced-based strategies; an international clearinghouse of empirically-based articles and treatment resources; and, physician training so that long-haulers receive individualized, coordinated care across specialties with diagnoses that covered by insurance. For this Call we are looking for knowledge and visions that will inform and inspire our global community as a call to action for the needs of Long-Haulers.


DALL·E 2023-03-26 10.56.17 - a sophisticated mixed-media oil painting reflecting the gentl
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