Womanjarrés: Interdisciplinary Festival on Women and Mode in the Rural World

September 7, 2024 - September 8, 2024
Instituto de Estudios Riojanos, Asociación Roblegordo Manjarrés

C/ San Isidro, 5
Manjarrés 26315


Complutense University of Madrid (PhD)

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In 1950, German philosopher Martin Heidegger published the book Off the Beaten Track. This book included a chapter entitled ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’, a compendium of aesthetical reflections created by the author during the 30s. On those pages, there is a discussed artistic motif: the painting A Pair of Shoes, created by Vincent van Gogh in 1886 and nowadays guarded at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Following Heidegger, those shoes are the boots of a female peasant, whose only aesthetical credit was their labor value, that is, their estimation as workforce transformed into a second-hand object through its pictorial representation. From that moment on, a Byzantine dispute on the identity of the owner of the painted boots and the meaning of the still life, if a pair of shoes could be defined as such, took place. The most eminent aesthetes of the occidental canon —from Schapiro to Derrida— participated in that debate, which was exhibited in 2009 at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne.

Forty-nine years after the publication of Heidegger’s Off the Beaten Track, in 1999, Griselda Pollock published Differencing the Canon: Feminism and the Writings of Art’s Histories, an essay which did not directly refer to Vincent van Gogh’s A pair of Shoes, but in fact included another painting from the same author: Peasant Woman, Stooping, Seen from Behind. In this second debate, the dialectic vocabulary was not any longer about workforce (Arbeitskraft), value in use (Gebrauchswert) or exchange value (Tauschwert). It was about cultural Marxist terms and their reception and iconological interaction following the Critical Frankfurt School —relation among the sex, gender, and class systems in order to explain the symbolic connection between animality and body language chosen by Vincent van Gogh to represent the female worker—.

If we attend to this tradition in the European Humanities debate, previous to 2030 Agenda, we remark that the rural context appears as an unavoidable space of intersectional discussion in contemporary Aesthetics, where multiple categories of analyses and work-methodologies take place: iconology, cultural studies, philosophical aesthetics, critical studies, design theory, mode theory, ethnography, anthropology, sociology, political theory. Despite this conceptual spaciousness, a reiterative unconscious topic appears in the yet different considerations made by Heidegger and Pollock: the idea that rural world only gains its aesthetical value if its roughness and precariousness are ennobled by its artistic representation and the pertinent cultural critic made by high academic instances. Is that perspective a prejudice or rather a confirmed reality? What does rural feminine beauty mean? Does such an aesthetical category even exist? Can we reduce the aesthetical value of rural context to the production of basic goods and needs?

From these opening questions, the organizing crew of this festival publishes this call for participation. We are looking for proposals in multiple formats that join mode, design of ornaments and philosophical reflections on the topic of this festival: women and mode in the rural world.


-          Rural existentialism: life in a village, vacuity, boredom, solitude, and ugliness.

-          Rural mode and marital status: widows, married, divorced, and single women in the rural context.

-          Revitalization and renovation of popular mode designs and folkloric elements

-          Harvest and farming modes, tools, and times.

-          Domestication and savagery in rural context.

-          Design, materials, and textures for the rural work mode.

-          Sustainable mode and rural world.

-          Feminist and queer rural living and life-styles.

-          Mode and Sundays in a village.

-         Rural elegance and power architectures in the rural world: town hall square, school, church, bar, football court, cemetery, fountain. 


You should submit your proposal to the following mail: [email protected]. The Word or PDF document should include the following sections:

-          Name of the participant

-          Personal web page (in case that the participant has one)

-          Institutional affiliation (it is not mandatory; you can present your work as an independent researcher and creator)

-          Proposal’s title

-          Participation format: clothes design, ornament design, photography, video, theoretical contribution…

-          Explanation and theoretical justification of the design/proposal (up to 400 words)

-          Short curricular biography (up to 200 words)


ORGANIZING INSTITUTIONS: Institute of Riojan Studies, Fat Oak Association Manjarrés.

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