Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Andrea Bowers

Diabloblockade, Diablo Nuclear Power Plant, Abalone Alliance, 1981

Diabloblockade, Diablo Nuclear Power Plant, Abalone Alliance, 1981

Andrea Bowers. Diabloblockade, Diablo Nuclear Power Plant, Abalone Alliance, 1981, 2003.

This is a drawing of a protest held by members of an activist group in California called Mothers for Peace. In 1981 they were protesting the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, an electricy-generating nuclear power plant, built near the San Andreas and Hosfri earthquake fault lines. This drawing was one of three included in a body of work called "Magical Politics". All three drawings focused on acts of civil disobedience performed by women's affinity groups centered around the arms race and its impact on the environment. Magical politics was a nonviolent, direct-action movement that arose during the early 1980s in the United States and combined feminism, spiritualism, and environmentalism. Barbara Epstein in her book, "Political Protest and Cultural Revolution" coined the term, though I doubt any members of the movement are even aware of this name. It refers to the movement's spiritual makeup, which constituted an alliance between radical leftist Christians (mainly Catholic and Protestant groups such as the Catholic Workers, Jonah House, Atlantic Life Community, and Ground Zero) and feminist pagans. There is an absurdity in the union of these groups faiths that is at once humorous and utopian. Their ability to work together effectively was an amazing accomplishment, especially considering the fraught interactions of other opposing religions around the world. Viewed from the current climate of religious fundamentalism in the United States and throughout much of the world, the collaborative spirit of the magical politics groups presents an almost unimaginable model of acceptance of others' differing beliefs.


nonviolence, activism, drawing

Diabloblockade, Diablo Nuclear Power Plant, Abalone Alliance, 1981Detail of "Still Life of The AIDS Memorial Quilt in Storage (Blocks 4336-4340)"  Vieja Gloria (video still)Eulogies to One and Another (Installation view)Defense of NecessityVows (Goldman, Emma. "Marriage and Love." New York: Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1910.)Letters to the Army of Three and Letters to an Army of Three (Installation view)

Letters to an Army of ThreeThe Weight of Relevance Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Training

Los Angeles, CA
United States


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