This Friday, November 20, Texas State University’s Texas Freedom Network (TFN) Student Chapter will host an art gallery at Wake the Dead Coffeehouse as part of the organization’s Illuminate RJ (Reproductive Justice) campaign.
The Art Exhibition will work to promote local artists, while also focusing on Texans’ experiences with the reproductive justice framework and fighting the negative stigma on abortion.
Individuals attending will be able to share their abortion stories, including difficulties they may have faced regarding accessing reproductive health services.
The Illuminate RJ project is designed to create “a Texas-specific narrative about reproductive justice” and abortion experiences, while using art to share personal and political stories.
Print Journalism Major and Secretary for TFN, James Carneiro says the event is focused around replacing hatred and negativity regarding abortion with understanding and acceptance.
In terms of the events impact on the San Marcos/ Hays County community, Carneiro hopes the event promotes accurate information about abortion, saying “ I really hope that people who live around here understand that 1 in 3 women will have an abortion, so it’s something that affects everyone. So instead of seeing it as this abstract issue removed from us, we instead see it as something that affects our friends and neighbors and family members. So just hopefully the point is going to create empathy and make the issue hit close to home.”
According to the event’s Facebook page, the Illuminate Reproductive Justice event will coincide with events the other TFN student chapters at campuses across Texas are hosting.
Carneiro also stresses the artwork that will be present at the event, where the public is encouraged to contribute to the experience, emphasizing “There’s a whole bunch of interesting artwork that’s going to be displayed… we have writers showing off poetry, we have sculpture makers, lots of really great artwork from artists in the Rio Grande Valley, and so if you’re interested in thought provoking art, you should definitely swing by.”
Carneiro says although this is the first event Texas State University’s TFN has sponsored of it’s kind, the organization is very hopeful and expect the night to be positive.