DSCN8237‘Tous pareils, tous différents’  (‘All the same, all different’), Lausanne, 7 March, poster by Anne Crausaz

Still elated by my afternoon visit to Lausanne’s Cantonal Museum of Fine Art* and my little trip through the stacks of the Cantonal library in the basement of Palais de Rumine on the occasion of the Canton’s fourth Library Saturday (more in the post ‘Serendipity at the library’), I have managed to stay up late as I was curious to find out about the look of this year’s doodle for women’s day.

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Google: ‘Happy International Women’s Day!

I like this doodle very much. It shows women taking part in professional or recreational activities which are most commonly associated with the other sex: firewoman, chemist, astronomer, cosmonaut, judge, cooking chef, doctor, student, guitarist, painter, etc. In this respect, it is well in keeping with one of the main objectives of this event, which is to celebrate the achievements of women. Not only are the women doing male jobs or tasks, but they are depicted in active roles (there is a lot of movement going on in this doodle – volley ball players, firewoman, cosmonaut doing some drilling in outer space, etc.). This, together with what I see as a subtle reworking of the theory of the continental drift (Pangaea – from Gaia, a female personification of the Earth) towards some form of unified and worldwide gynaecocracy (the position of the female judge in this illustration is no coincidence I would think) or at least female empowerment, underlines the main objective of the event, namely to promote equality between the sexes. If the illustrator had managed to fit in a woman character older than the judge, chemist, botanist and doctor, I feel that this doodle would have been really inclusive (the wheelchair is already a first step in the direction of inclusiveness). The same applies to the lack of any distinctive Asian characters (cook, chemist?). Except for these two points, I think that it is a great doodle. What about you?

* They are holding a thematic exhibition on French-speaking artists from Switzerland who had gone to Paris to work from the early 19th century up to the 1950s with a broad collection of paintings, engravings and sculptures on display until 26 April. The quality of the works caught me a little by surprise (probably because art history focuses only a few big names for that period and as a result we tend to be a little disparaging of the artistic achievements of our own painters), so that I left the museum with some visual imagery deeply ingrained in my memory (in particular, Ernest Biéler’s ‘In front of the church of Saint-Germain’, Eugène Burnand’s ‘Bull in the Alps’ and several engravings by the Vaudois painter ‘par excellence’ Félix Vallotton).

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