Why are there so few streets named after women in Vienna? And why are monuments currently being torn down off their pedestals in so many places? These are just a couple of the questions we explore in our hands-on exhibition Space for Kids. It’s Your Mo(nu)ment!, which can be seen in Kunsthalle Wien Karlsplatz until October 31, 2020.
In our research for the exhibition, we came across a lot of really great books – and that’s why we want to give you a new reading recommendation each week while our exhibition is running:
Book Tip #2:
Lisbeth Kaiser: Little People, Big Dreams. Rosa Parks, illustrated by Marta Antelo, Insel Verlag, 2019
Little People, Big Dreams is a gorgeously illustrated series published by Insel Verlag that tells the stories of strong individuals who led inspiring lives. The spellbinding books make these larger-than-life figures relatable to young readers and embolden them to follow their own paths and never betray their dreams.
Our next reading tip introduces the reader to the American civil rights activist Rosa Parks. She grew up in Alabama under segregation. For decades, many American states had laws that prohibited black people from using the same services and amenities as whites, from public bathrooms and reserved bus seats to movie screenings. It took long and fierce protests organized by the civil rights movement to outlaw racial segregation.
Rosa made a key contribution to this effort: her refusal, in 1955, to give up her seat on a bus for a white man ultimately led to the end of segregation and unequal treatment of blacks and whites in public transportation. Her life’s work as a champion of equality in schools, workplaces, and housing and advocate for women’s rights was honored with numerous awards.
Book Tip #1:
Elena Favilli: Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls – 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed The World, Simon and Schuster, 2016
In this book you will find 100 stories about unbelievably strong and brave women – the author calls them “rebel girls” – who want to make the world a better place: for themselves and for the people around them, regardless of the risk. All of these women left their homelands for various reasons and moved to a different country.
For example, the sculptor Edmonia Lewis: she was born in New York in 1844 as the daughter of an Afro-Haitian father and a mother from the Native American Mississauga Ojibwe people. During her studies, she experienced terrible racism and was even falsely accused of murder. Edmonia was the first US-American woman with dark skin to work professionally as a sculptor and therefore drew the attention of the abolitionists – they were people who were engaged for the end of slavery and racial segregation. However, Edmonia’s biggest dream was to live in a place where her talents received more attention than her skin color. So in 1865, she moved to Rome, where she joined a community of artists.
On the occasion of the 100th birthday of the USA in 1876, she created a sculpture of Cleopatra. Unfortunately, the majority of her artworks did not survive to this day. Also this sculpture had disappeared for a century, until it was found again painted over in a shopping mall in Chicago. Now the sculpture has its rightful place in the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.