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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Lesbian National Parks and Services

Founded in 1997, The Lesbian National Parks and Services is a super art project created by Canadian artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan. The projects consists of art perfomances, videos, and this insanely detailed and elaborate field book: Field Guide to North America: Flora, Fauna & Survival Skills.

Rangers Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan

They state their goal as intending to "insert a lesbian presence into the landscape...challenging the general public’s ideas of tourism, recreation, and the “natural” environment." BUT! The way they do it is just really funny, and goofy, and smart. With chapters like 'Comportment in the Bush', 'Keeping Wet', and 'What and Whom to Eat,' Dempsey and Millan successfully merge lesbian fun with the natural world.

Take, for example, their section on The Nine-Banded Armadillo: "This, the stone-butch of lesbian mammals, covers its vulnerability with a rough, bony armour. Its soft belly and tender heart, however, remain vulnerable to predators (primarily coyotes and peccaries) and it wisely retreats into a familiar hole or thorny bush when threatened. (Unlike its South American cousins, the North American Armadillo cannot curl itself into a ball.)"

Plus! Winnipeg artist Daniel Barrow, winner of the 2010 Sobey Art Award, does all the illustrations!

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