Born in 1834, Julia Pastrana was an indigenous singer and dancer with a rare condition: her whole face and body were covered in hair. After marrying a man who toured her around as a sideshow attraction – “The Ugliest Woman In The World” – she died in her mid-twenties just days after giving birth, though her body was paraded around the world as a freak show for more than a century before disappearing into the bowels of a Norwegian medical school. Flash forward 150 years, when visual artist Laura Anderson Barbata set out on a quest to repatriate and properly bury Pastrana’s remains, a feat she accomplished in 2013. As part of Providence Public Library’s hairy spring programming, Barbata will discuss her 2017 book, The Eye of the Beholder: Julia Pastrana’s Long Journey Home.
The event is free but registration is required. Books will be available for purchase and signing.