The Box and the Tree: A Representation of a Feminist Viewpoint of the World


  • Cat J. Zavis University of British Columbia


The accompanying paper arose out of a project I did for a class on Feminism and Postmodernism. Instead of writing a traditional academic paper and presenting it at our final class, I created a piñata in the shape of a box. The outside of the piñata contains photographs, magazine cut-outs, etc. that represent the box I have felt stuck to/in. It is the me that I want to deconstruct. The inside of the box contains similar memorabilia, but of a different genre. It includes aspects of my self that I want to reconstruct and nurture. During my class presentation, the class helped me break the box and reconstruct my self onto the flattened box, reformed in the shape of a tree. The trunk of the tree is the stick used to break the box. This paper is a theoretical abstraction from the concrete presentation of my piñata project.

Author Biography

Cat J. Zavis, University of British Columbia

Cathy (Cat) J. Zavis is a Master's Candidate in Women's Studies and Gender Relations at the University of British Columbia. Her areas of interest include family law, violence against women, women and development, and third world and anti-racist feminist theories. For her thesis, she is examining the Canadian International Development Assistance's (CIDA) Gender and Equality Policy. In particular, she is analyzing the process used to update its policy, drawing on Third World and anti-racist feminist theories. Prior to attending graduate school, Cat was a lawyer in Seattle, Washington at a non-profit women's rights legal organisation.