Visual presentations by Max Dashu: 2016 features

Women's Power, Women's Oppression, Women's History

Women's power and speech are contested in patriarchal systems. We need women's history to understand how this colonization came to be, and how it operates. Patriarchy is not a human default, but a historical process with a material basis. Its patterns of domination are a series of overlays embedded over time in culture, socialization and behavior, and they intersect with other systems of domination. Women remain divided, a necessary condition of domination; and our resistance is still subject to silencing and repression, including witch hunts. We need to know what women's freedom and authority look like, in societies that do not colonize us on the basis of sex, and recover the positive heritages that are our birthright.

nehandaRebel Shamans: Women Confront Empire
Priestesses, diviners and medicine women stand out as leaders of aboriginal liberation movements against conquest, empire, and cultural colonization. This visual presentation looks at how Indigenous and Diasporic women draw on their cultural traditions to resist colonization. More >


stone portraits of women from nine countries around the world.Women's Power in Global Perspective
A panoramic view of female leadership, creativity, wisdom, and courage, around the world and over thousands of years: female spheres of power in politics, economics, religion, medicine, technology (farmers, builders, weavers!), arts and letters. This visual talk offers a rich tapestry of women famous and anonymous, ancient and modern, and makes an ideal feature for Women's History Month. More >


totonac shamanWoman Shaman: the Ancients
An unprecedented survey of seers and medicine women in the cultural record—in rock art, sculpture, ceramics, seals, bronzes, and codices, drawing back the veil that obscures our view. See women making ceremony in the rock art of the Sahara, southern Africa, Spain, and Baja California; in Aztec codices, Chinese bronzes, and Indus and Cretan seals. More >

jomon figurineFemale Icons
Wars of interpretation have raged over the ancient female figurines, their cultural meanings and uses. We look at the range, similarities, and distinct cultural styles of the iconic woman, and consider what female symbolism might have signified within cultural context, and how it relates to women's embodied experience. More >

man beating wifePatriarchies: a global view of women's oppression
What is patriarchy, in all of its structures of lordship, how did it come into being, how is it enforced, and by whom? how resisted? how do systems of male dominance relate to conquest, enslavement, colonization and class structures? How is opposition suborned through divide and conquer? More >

gulabi gangFemale Rebels and Mavericks
Audacious women who break the rules: adventurers, witches and wantons, heretics, lesbians, women who pass as men in order to practice medicine or roam the world. Daredevils, free-thinkers, radicals, insurgents, and visionaries -- a global spectrum of bold and defiant women. More >


woman in cape riding on goat and whirling a rabbit

Witches and Pagans
The spiritual heritages of pagan Europe: wisewomen, healers, seers, enchantresses and nightfarers. Women’s sacraments of spinning, weaving, herbcraft, divination, sacred dance and incantation. Fatas, faeries, and the “good women who go by night” with the Old Goddess: Diana, Holle, Nicnevin, Abundia, Andra Mari, Perchta. More >


old woman burned at stake, man poking at her with pitchforkWitch Hunts
The early modern witch-hunt Terror was the crucible of modern "Western Civilization." It had a profound impact on women's status -- and bodies, speech, mobility, sexuality. The witch craze was escalated through torture trials, targeting females, the old, disabled, queer, poor, and minorities as "devil-worshippers." More >


birger figurineWomen's Treasures from the Suppressed Histories Archives
Stunning cultural riches you've never seen before: women in the the rock murals of Zimbabwe, Baja California, the Sahara and the Kimberley; the ceramics of Nok and Ife and Jamacoaque; Cretan and Harappan seals, Chinese and Nigerian bronzes; stone sculptures of Illinois, Nigeria, and Vietnam; the female monoliths of Ethiopia, France, and Italy. More >

soldiers with cross, Kenyan rebellion leader, Aboriginal AustraliansGlobal Patterns of Colonization and Indigenous Resistance
A history through images of European ideologies of colonization, and ways that Original Peoples have fought back and preserved their cultures. Looks at theft of land and people, methods of manipulation, cultural bias against Original peoples, and the prehistory of these attitudes in Europe --with a section on female spiritual leaders who led resistance to colonization through their own law. More >

All titles are live visual presentations. 90 minutes, with extra time
for discussion and questions (60-minute version also available).
Requirements: digital projector, cables, screen, mic

"We can't afford to overlook the importance of knowledge as power, and culture as a medium that propagates values and behaviors, that interprets the world to us. Those who have withheld knowledge about women's power, as well as the vast diversity of cultures that have existed on this planet, understood that demoralizing women would make it easier to subordinate us. If you can't conceive of being free as a woman - or as any other oppressed group of people - how are you going to sustain the hope and courage and effort necessary to create change? Beyond that, we need to be able to envision how things might be different, as Indigenous cultures, especially the mother-right cultures, can teach us. Ways of doing things differently, egalitarian ways that respect everyone, that live by values that revere the entire web of life." --Max Dashú

For descriptions of more Suppressed Histories presentations,
see the current
catalog of digital presentations.

About Max Dashú

Suppressed Histories Archives | Articles | Woman Shaman DVD