Juan Villa / The Collegian
Camouflage, peace signs and anti-war images will adorn the models at the Runway Peace Project fashion show April 14 as students groups challenge militarism in todayâ€™s society.
The womenâ€™s studies feminist activism class, People Organized for Womenâ€™s Empowerment and Representation and the Femicide Action Committee will join forces for the fashion show. Publications from these groups state their mission to â€œoffer thought-provoking fashion and images that will challenge the normalized status of a military doctrine in our clothing and ultimately in our society.â€?
Dr. Janet Slagter, assistant professor in the womenâ€™s studies department, expects the show to spark discussion about the controversial issues surrounding the military and war.
â€œStudents, faculty and community members attending the show can expect to be entertained and to be challenged,â€? Slagter said. The clothing and other costumes are meant to â€œpoke fun at, raise questions, and present information about war and its effects,â€? Slagter added.
In addition to the fashion show, the event will include live music, a poetry jam, speakers and art on display. Musical acts lined up for the evening include the all-female band Needy Eevy, Persian musicians Keyhan Faez and Faroukh Ezadee, and a group called the Raging Grannies.
â€œThere is going to be a lot going on at the show,â€? said Rachel Goerzen, a member of the feminist activism class. According to Goerzen, each portion of the event has a specific purpose to tie in with the anti-war themes.
â€œThe first part is to show how militarism has influenced the clothes we wear and the toys children play with,â€? Goerzen explained.
â€œThe second part is going to feature outfits that portray stats or realities of war, and outfits that just make you think about war and its effects.â€?
The feminist activism class and P.O.W.E.R. learned of the Runway Peace Project from a womenâ€™s group in Oakland, Calif.
â€œThe Runway Peace Project originated from the Women of Color Resource Center based in the Bay Area,â€? Eddie Torres explained, who is also part of the feminist activism class. â€œTheir goal is to give women of color a united voice against war and militarism.â€?
Torres also hopes the event will bring to light the effects of â€œmilitary idealismâ€? beyond the soldiers and their families.
â€œImages will show the effects of militarism on the poor, women, children, minorities, the environment, and humankind all over the world,â€? he said. â€œI also hope people will become motivated to put a stop to war and militaristic ideas everywhere.
Mypang Thao, another member of the feminist activism class, expects the fashion aspect of the event will be the attention-grabber.
â€œMost young people donâ€™t care too much for politics, but when it comes to pop culture and fashion they are completely involved,â€? Thao said. â€œThis fashion show is no typical fashion show.â€?
The MySpace page created for the Runway Peace Project displays the progress of the students groups as they put the event together. One of the male group members is shown wearing a T-shirt containing the words â€œThis is what a feminist looks like.â€? A playlist of peace-encouraging music plays in the background, featuring such song titles â€œDear Mr. Presidentâ€? and â€œAmericaâ€™s On Sale.â€?
Slagter encourages the public to bring any questions they have the organizations that will be tabling at the event.
â€œAttendees can expect to begin to question practices that promote militarism,â€? Slagter said. â€œThey can also expect to laugh and sing, too.â€?
The Runway Peace Project will be held free of charge at 7 p.m. at the Satellite Student Union.
For more information visit http://myspace.com/runwaypeaceproject.