As we often say, Intersex people have existed since the dawn of humanity. Ancient art reflects this, but much of it has been purposefully hidden and continues to be. As reported in Artlyst magazine, UK based artist Ela Xora is fighting to put an end to this.
Xora, an acclaimed trans artist and intersex ally, has had several art exhibits and other public contributions centered on intersex visibility in the past, including collaborating on an Intersex Awareness Day 2016 video with Stephen Fry and Intersex UK. Her recent hunger strike was a direct appeal to renowned classicist Mary Beard to stop denying and devaluing the existence of intersex people.
Beard was quoted in the Times Literary Supplement back in 2013 speaking in harmfully dismissive manner about intersex people. while speaking about encountering the Sleeping Hermaphroditus with her students on a visit to the Louvre in Paris, and said:
“We had (as often) a great talk together about the Louvre Hermaphrodite. What is the point of this figure which is a female from one side and a male from the other? I was trying to argue that it was not just a clever joke, but an attempt much more fundamentally to challenge the foundations of how you can judge what you see….”
Although contacted by Xora to address these stigmatizing and inaccurate statements, Beard had refused, and Xora will not stand for it. We couldn’t be more impressed by both her art and her bold activism, or grateful for her efforts to have intersex people’s existence and place in our society acknowledged!
See more and find out more about Ela Xora’s work here.