If It’s March, It Must Be Women Power
Updated: May 13, 2021
A special edition of the Feraru talks, in celebration of Women’s History Month and the International Women's Day
On March 10, 2021 we joined in the celebration of Women’s History Month and the International Women’s Day, observed with excitement all over Romania, with a Feraru conversation with three outstanding women personifying the transformative power of courage, imagination, and resilience: poet, musician, and educator Carrie Hooper, who overcame visual impairment to become a brilliant linguist and translator from Romanian, Swedish, German, and Albanian; author and human rights activist Nina Smart, of Romanian-African origin, who works together with the United Nations to combat genital mutilation; and Luminița Cuna, travel writer, international program manager and Amazon explorer, working to conserve the ecological and ethnological richness of the Amazonian rainforest.
LUMINIȚA CUNA, a Cluj-Napoca native and Brooklyn resident, has been traveling extensively to the Amazon region and has been living and working with indigenous communities since 2006. She has been an ally to indigenous peoples for more than 15 years, supporting their efforts to uphold their human rights and to protect their territory. Luminița is the founder of the grassroots support organization Maloca and the author of Barefoot in the Amazon. She co-produced the documentary Ome: Tales from a Vanishing Homeland, winner of the 2017 Queens International Film Festival for Best Cinematography, which brings forward the fight of an Amazonian community to protect their home, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. When she is not trekking the Amazon, Luminița is an IT project manager.
CARRIE HOOPER is a poet, translator and musician. She has been blind since birth. She received a B.A. in vocal performance from Mansfield University, Mansfield, Pennsylvania, and went on to receive an M.A. in German and an M.A. in vocal performance from the State University of New York at Buffalo. After completing her studies, she spent a year at the Royal University College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden as a Fulbright scholar. Carrie currently lives in Elmira, New York. She has taught German, Italian, and Romanian at Elmira College. An amazing polyglot, she is also proficient in and translates from Swedish, Spanish, and Albanian. She has published two books: Piktura në fjalë (Word Paintings), a bilingual collection of poetry (Albanian-English), and My Life in My Words. She has also translated several articles, short stories, and a book from Albanian into English.
Born in Romania, Dr. NINA SMART is a human rights activist, sociologist, and author who educates people about female genital mutilation (FGM) and works to eradicate the practice in Sierra Leone, West Africa. In 2004, Dr. Smart founded SWF International, a Los Angeles based non-profit NGO that raises awareness about FGM through lectures for students, immigrants and socially conscious groups. She works with local SWF partners on effective solutions to end FGM and her book Wild Flower – The True Story of a Romanian Girl in Africa educates audiences worldwide about the fear and secrecy associated with FGM. Chosen as 2016 Woman of the Year for her non-profit work by Senator Mendoza of California, Dr. Smart’s educational efforts were also honored by the United States Congress. Dr. Smart’s work combines academia and activism, and straddles many cultures, Romanian, American, and West African. She has built bridges between these worlds and through her tireless efforts is educating people and is creating a safer space for women in the communities she works and lives in.