While artists have created and still are creating moving and powerful work on how the female body and bodies of color are “sites of contention,” there is significantly less attention paid to how these bodies are also sites of pleasure, agency and desire. For the past few years, I have been working on the Female Sexual Desires Project, where I explore issues of sexuality and desire in relation to female bodies and the bodies of people of color. I collected responses from 150 women about female sexual desires. I used these responses to make several video, audio, and fiber works. In these works, I am confronting and tackling the misogynistic and racist ideas that surfaced while collecting the responses. I am seeking to make invisible female sexual desires more visible. In doing so, I aim to give agency to bodies that for too long have only been thought of as dead or damaged “sites of contention.” Another aspect of my project is to give voice to a voiceless yet integral component of what it means to be female and sexual.
The Gymnast & Other Positions is Jacqueline Bishop’s most recent book and has been awarded the 2016 OCM Bocas Award in Non-Fiction. She is also the author of the novel, The River’s Song; and two collections of poems, Fauna and Snapshots from Istanbul. Her non-fiction books are My Mother Who Is Me: Life Stories from Jamaican Women in New York and Writers Who Paint/Painters Who Write: Three Jamaican Artists. An accomplished visual artist with exhibitions in Belgium, Morocco, Italy, USA and Jamaica, Ms. Bishop was a 2008-2009 Fulbright Fellow to Morocco; the 2009-2010 UNESCO/Fulbright Fellow; and is an Assistant Professor at New York University. In addition to the OCM Bocas Award, Bishop has received several additional awards, including: The Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for short story writing, A Fulbright year-long grant to Morocco, a UNESCO/Fulbright Fellowship to Paris, The Arthur Schomburg Award for Excellence in the Humanities from New York University, a James Michener Creative Writing Fellowship, as well as several awards from the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.