I was born in Poland, and spent my childhood both in Warsaw and in Montevideo, Uruguay, visiting many other countries in Europe, Africa, and Latin America. During my adult years I lived in Poland, Peru, and New York, with extensive stays in Brazil, Mexico, and Spain, and for the last 20 years I have resided in San Antonio, teaching at the University of Texas. Thus, since childhood I have been exposed to different cultures and languages that became the subject of my cultural and linguistic studies and my passion. My cross-cultural, women-centered interests have been reflected in my numerous presentations and articles around the world in six languages, as well as in my two recent books, The Black Madonna in Latin America and Europe: Tradition and Transformation (UNMP) and Fierce Feminine Divinities of Eurasia and Latin America: Baba Yaga, Kali, Pombagira, and Santa Muerte (Palgrave). I am proud to have been able to bridge the rigors of academia with my research centered on the divine feminine, and to have recently been promoted to Full Professor as the first female faculty member ever at the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at UTSA.
Malgorzata’s presentation is entitled, Liminality, Transgression, and Feminine Empowerment: The Case of Kali and Pombagira:
“Kali–an Indian goddess—and Pombagira—a female trickster entity from the Brazilian Umbanda religion–are surprisingly similar. They both represent the concepts of liminality, outsiderhood and structural inferiority, embodied in the divine feminine. They are strong, independent, unrestrained, and full of magical powers, including power over sexuality, transformation, and death. In fact, they are the opposite of what has been promoted as the model for western females in the last millennium, with traits such as motherliness, docility, humility, passivity, and obedience. Conversely, they are untamed feminine divinities that are powerful, fiercely independent, childless, courageous, and wise.”
Ingrid is an “irreverent wise woman.” Her work as an author, teacher and ritualist is deeply rooted in the wisdom traditions of pre-Christian, Northern Europe. Ingrid is dedicated to reawakening connection with our ancestors and the neglected myths of indigenous Norse and Germanic tribes. Her latest book, The Runes Revealed – an (un) familiar journey, challenges its readers to remove the distorted lens of patriarchal interpretation and start viewing history, archeology and mythology with new eyes.
In order to find refuge in our histories we need to hear our stories told in our own voices, not in the voices of men. In order to find safe harbor in our stories they must be meaningful and relevant to the lives we live today.
Ingrid’s presentation for the 2016 conference is entitled “Playing By Your Own Rules When The Gods Cheat: The Saga Of Skadi – How A Strong-willed, Independent Norse Giantess Found Safe Harbor By Claiming What Was Rightfully Hers”
“The saga of Skadi is both ancient and modern. It’s the tale of a giantess who was willing to rebel against the system, demand retribution for injustice and lay claim to her rightful inheritance. She made choices that were strategic and far-sighted and choose divorce rather than settling for anything less than her own happiness. Skadi is an example of freedom and independence, and yet there are parts of her story that beg to be reexamined and retold. ”
A few years ago a doctor friend mentioned to me that 90% of all women are unhappy with their breasts. Although I knew I was part of that percentage, the magnitude of the number stunned me. My thoughts immediately went to the women in my life who were struggling with their breasts.
Some had body image issues, others grappled with breastfeeding woes, and still others had cysts or cancer. Suddenly I realized that what I had been thinking of as strictly personal was actually a large-scale issue. It was therefore essential that the women feel they had nothing to hide, and that they feel connected to their bodies.
My goal for The Breast Archives was to invoke women’s wisdom regarding their breasts, to invite it out of hiding.
Meagan Murphy is a firm believer that social transformation can be achieved through courageous storytelling. With 25+ years of experience in film and broadcast, Meagan has earned a Communicator’s Award for her work with teens and a Medical Journalism Fellowship through Blue Cross Blue Shield. While at PBS-WGBY, she contributed to and oversaw several award-winning series. Her film repertoire includes Night Deposit, Fathers & Sons, and Victor’s Big Score. She also completed a 2-year women’s spirituality program and is trained as a girls’ mentor. In 2012, Meagan formed Deliberate Healing Productions LLC in order to The Breast Archives, a film about body-based wisdom and the complex, un-discussed relationship women have with their breasts. Ms. Murphy is a member of the Easthampton Arts Council, Women in Film & Video, The Independent Documentary Association, eWomen and Women Business Owners Alliance.
Meagan will participate in our Film and Filmmakers Roundtable at the conference, bringing the trailer for The Breast Archives. You will also see her videotaping the keynote presentations and authors’ panel.