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Q & A after screening with Filmmaker Ethan H. Minsker

The Dolls of Lisbon
72 minutes, Documentary
Ethan H. Minsker, Filmmaker

The Dolls of Lisbon portrays a collective of international artists who were each given a blank canvas doll and asked to create a unique piece of art, the culmination of which was then displayed at an annual art fair in Lisbon, Portugal. The larger story – a story almost every artist knows well – is the struggle to create art while surviving in a monetarily based world. Through interviews and live art events, the viewer experiences the frustration of artists to maintain their creative inspiration and passion while keeping a roof over their head and food on their plate. In a world of art commercialization and fiscal greed, these artists literally bleed their art to do what they love.

The Dolls of Lisbon project and the subsequent film were inspired by the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico. This movement used art, music and poetry to attract the attention of the world, famously creating "Zapatista dolls" to communicate visually about an otherwise unknown rebellion. The Antagonist Movement, Inc. (, a consortium of artists, writers and musicians based in New York’s East Village, handmade 100 blank canvas dolls and shipped them around the world for other artists to fashion the dolls as they saw fit. The various dolls were then displayed at Pop Up Lisboa, an annual art fair in Lisbon, in June 2010.


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