Emancipation Flag – Balcony, 2018
Getting involved in political life was difficult for women in Lithuania in the early 20th century: the best-known example of this fact is the absence of any woman’s signature under Lithuania’s Declaration of Independence, proclaimed on February 16, 1918. And yet, the now iconic photograph of the Council of Lithuania was taken by a woman, Aleksandra Jurašaitytė. On February 17, 1918, one day after the independence declaration, a demonstration was held to demand implementation of previously issued promises to the women’s rights movement that women would be included in the Council of Lithuania.
In the 21st century, members of the contemporary feminist movement proclaimed February 17th as National Emancipation Day. On February 17, 2018, in response to the ritual of delivering commemorative Independence Day speeches from the small balcony on the House of Signatories in Vilnius, a group of feminists organized a reading of the “February 17th Declaration” from the balcony of the adjacent Narutis Hotel, whose metal handrails are identical to those of the monumental building. From that day on, the Narutis balcony has become a symbol of the contemporary Lithuanian feminist movement. The balcony bars of Narutis were photographed and printed on fabric, transformed into an ephemeral flag: wherever it is unfurled, it becomes a tribute to the balcony, symbolizing the right to claim women’s emancipation at any time and place.
Women on the Moon, 2019
I Last Day on Earth
II Moon Mission
III Cooltūristės in Cosmos
July 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the US astronauts landing on the Moon. 12 persons, all men, landed on the Moon between 1969 and 1972 on various Apollo missions. Although 13 women were also being prepared for the mission, they did not “make it in time.” Half a century later, NASA is racing to land the first woman on the Moon in 2024. This program is called Artemis, named after Apollo’s twin sister. But the overheated planet Earth can‘t wait. The Moon mission of Cooltūristės begins now. Emancipation Flag – Balcony is billowing on the Moon as a sign of solidarity and strength. Women will save the world!
In collaboration with the Lithuanian Culture Institute and the Lithuanian Photographers Association