Colonized Women On Display Summer 2020 | Asian American Resource Center

Examine the roots of racism in Filipino American conceptual artist Fran Flahertys mixed media works on silk. She reclaims images of her ancestors from illustrations in a 1590 European manuscript.

Conceptual artist Fran Flaherty examines racism, its roots, and the position of European colonizers in relation to her indigenous ancestors in the Philippines. Her mixed media works on silk aim to reclaim images of women depicted in The Boxer Codex, a manuscript from 1590, in a way that she, their descendant, deems fit.

Examine and Reclaim

Fran Flaherty examines racism, its roots, and the position of European colonizers. Today the word immigrant presents negative connotations and visuals of masses of people overcoming land. However, we do not view colonization in the same way. Flaherty tries to understand ancestral trauma in the context of immigration and colonization how it affects our interactions with one another today. Though we are individually free, there are still chains that we cannot see.

Image Description: Colonized Woman: Zambal (detail)

"Colonized Women: Zambal, Tagalog, Cagayanes, Pintados" by Fran Flaherty

About the Artist

Fran Flaherty is a deaf artist living in Pennsylvania with her husband Tim, their sons, Liam, Sean, and Lucas, and her hearing dog Olympia. She is a first generation immigrant from the Philippines. Her work is centered in issues surrounding migrant family relations and assimilation, maternal feminism, disability aesthetics, and social work. Her work is inspired by the care paradigm: a premise that human beings cannot survive alone and the progress of human beings, as a species, flows from our identity as social animals, connected to one another through ties of love, kinship, and clanship.

Her art has been featured in exhibits all over the world including University of Tennessee Knoxville’s 1010 Gallery; Pineapple Labs, Makati City, Philippines; Slipe Gallery, Hartford Art School, Hartford, CT; Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Center for Babaylan Studies, Torrance, Ontario, Cananda; Robert Miller Gallery, NY, NY; University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburgh, South Africa; and Topographie de l’art, Paris, France.

Reclaiming Our Indigenous Roots: An Interactive Art Project

Join artist Fran Flaherty to create a crowd-sourced mural of Indigenous peoples of the Philippines. Draw, color, and collage on downloadable templates that reference Flaherty’s Colonized Women compositions and upload completed pieces to contribute to the mural.

1. Watch this interview with Fran Flaherty to learn about how she developed the her Colonized Women and her idea to grow the concept into crowd-sourced work of art.

2. Download free Colonized Women templates

3. Choose which template you want to work with and print it.

4. Be creative and express yourself! You may use any variety of arts and crafts materials to draw, color, and collage on your template. Consider artistic ways to tell your story and make a unique picture that represents you.

5. Once your piece is finished, scan it or take a photo.

6. To submit your piece, upload it here:

7. Check back regularly to see your submission displayed along with other community submissions. We update the gallery weekly.

Need modifications? Click below to access the list of inclusive supplies that can be used to modify arts and crafts tools to make this project more accessible and inclusive.

If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact us at aarc@austintexas.gov.

Community Submissions Gallery

Community submissions by Carmina and Leila Grace.

The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications will be provided upon request. For assistance please contact (512) 974-3914 or Relay Texas 7-1-1.