Birgitte Philippides


Skin Deep
Issue 90, May 2004

Twenty years after [Birgitte's] self-confrontation, she remains committed to using the language of art as a way of speaking forcefully about the body and its disorderly conduct.
Birgitte Philippides in BorderCrossings
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Here are excerpts from an interview, conducted by journalist Adele Nieves of Liquid Words Productions, LLC, with Birgitte Philippides, artist and activist, on January 31, 2007. The complete interview will appear in the upcoming anthology What We Think: Thoughts on Gender, Women’s Issues and Feminism in the 21st Century.

AN: Art is such a powerful tool of communication; explain how art helps you speak and communicate.

BP: Even now, I still feel like a deaf mute. It’s still hard for me to speak and communicate. When I started painting 15 years ago, it was just this miracle. The day that I started painting was the day that I stopped throwing up for the first time in nine years. It was no accident, there was a direct correlation. I’d had no voice. All this pain, all these things going on with me, I couldn’t speak a lot of it. I was just going nuts.

Once I started painting, it was as if the scream erupted, and I was able to communicate how I really felt. Before then, I just couldn’t. I was a well-behaved child, a good girl, obedient, and everything else. So I could never really tell my mom how I felt. But once I started painting, I could tell her I was upset, how I was feeling.

So there was a direct correlation between my painting and my own healing, being able to express myself and my own emotions.

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