The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and Independent Curators International co-present: A Discussion on Maria Rapicavoli’s New Film The Other: a familiar story

Visual Arts

Tuesday, December 1, 2020
6 to 7:30pm EST

This event will be held on Zoom

This event will center on a screening of Maria D. Rapicavoli’s newly commissioned film The Other: a familiar story, followed by a conversation between Rapicavoli and activist Maria Canela, moderated by Srimoyee Mitra, Director of Stamps Gallery. Commissioned with support from the Italian Council for the Rubin Foundation’s exhibition To Cast Too Bold A Shadow, Rapicavoli’s two-channel film installation premiers in this thematic group show examining entrenched forms of misogyny. The film is a haunting story of an Italian woman forced into marriage, who leaves her family in Italy behind for the United States. Loosely based on a true story, it raises questions about the ethics of artmaking and curatorial practice that draw on lived experiences, specifically in the context of immigration. Together, Rapicavoli, Canela, and Mitra will discuss ways in which trauma informs artistic practice, and the tensions between ethical representation and artistic license, especially during times of political instability.

Access Information: This event includes live ASL interpretation and captioning.


Maria Canela, writer, artivist, and Community Coordinator at NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, has participated in many actions that support and help immigrants in New York. She is an active member of Mujeres en Movimiento, a Queens-based organization that promotes self-care for women and their families and offers free “bailoterapia” classes, health-related workshops and activities, and practices Artivism (Art and Activism by Tania Bruguera).

As a proud woman who knows how it is being part of the undocumented community in the USA for nearly 5 years and the big difference that documents have on peoples’ lives, she understands the needs of her community, helps women to empower themselves, and shows to the world their capacities and knowledge because knowledge is inside you without permission; it is a gift you offer to the people for the happiness of sharing and this simple practice makes communities powerful.

Srimoyee Mitra is a curator and writer whose work is invested in building empathy and mutual respect by bringing together meaningful and diverse works of art and design. She develops ambitious and socially relevant projects that mobilize the agency within creative practices and public audiences. Her research interests lie at the intersection of exhibition-making and participation, migration, globalization, and decolonial aesthetics.

Mitra has worked as an Arts Writer for publications in India such as Time Out Mumbai and Art India Magazine. She was the Programming Coordinator of the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (2008-2010) in Toronto where her curatorial projects included Crossing Lines: An Intercultural Dialogue at the Glenhyrst Art Gallery, Brantford. In 2011, she was appointed the Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Windsor, where she developed an award-winning curatorial and publications program. Her exhibitions Border Cultures (2013-2015), We Won’t Compete (2014), Wafaa Bilal: 168:01 (2016) were awarded “Exhibition of the Year” by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries for three consecutive years. In 2015, she edited a multi-authored book, Border Cultures, co-published by the Art Gallery of Windsor and Black Dog Publishing and her writing can be found in journals such as Scapegoat Journal, Fuse, and C Magazines.

Mitra has participated in conferences and lectured across Canada, most recent ones include Creating a Future, O’Kinadas Residency, Complicated Reconciliations, Faculty of Critical and Creative Studies, University of British Columbia, August 2016; Unsettling Urban Spaces on Borderlands, Agnes Etherington Centre and Department of Film and Media, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, March 2016; Sensing Borders, Daniels Faculty University of Toronto, Proseminar Speakers Series, December 2015 and Home on Borderlands, The University of Arizona School of Art, Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series, November 12, 2014.

Mitra was born and raised in Mumbai and has lived in Canada and India, before moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she is currently the Director of Stamps Gallery, Stamps School of Art and Design.

Maria D. Rapicavoli was born in Catania (Italy) and lives and works in New York. Rapicavoli was a fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2012 and received her MFA from Goldsmiths University of London (2005) and a BA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Catania (2001). She has exhibited in several group shows including at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Yerba Buena Center For The Arts, San Francisco; Museo di Villa Croce, Genoa; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, NY; Museo di Villa Croce, Genova (Italy); Palazzo Reale, Milan; Guest Projects, London; Riso, Museum for Contemporary Art, Palermo, Italy; Strozzina, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; Sala Rekalde Bilbao; Italian Cultural Institute London and New York. She is the recipient of many awards and grants including the Italian Council VI edition Award (2019); the nctm e l’arte award (2013); DE.MO/Movin’UP grant, Italy (2011); the Renaissance Prize Award at the Italian Cultural Institute, London (2008); and a Postgraduate award in Arts and Humanities by AHRB, London (2004). She has participated in the AIRspace Residency Program at the Abrons Arts Center in New York (2015); International Study and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn (2014); and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space Residency Program in NY (2013). Currently she is Artist Member at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in New York.

Independent Curators International (ICI) supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement. Curators are arts community leaders and organizers who champion artistic practice; build essential infrastructures and institutions; and generate public engagement with art. Our collaborative programs connect curators across generations, and across social, political and cultural borders. They form an international framework for sharing knowledge and resources — promoting cultural exchange, access to art, and public awareness for the curator’s role.