sreda, 26. december 2007

Rdeče zore 2008 - Call for Submissions!

The 9th feminist and queer festival Red Dawns is going to take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia between March 5th and 9th 2008.

We are looking for artists and activists whose works and actions question the “normality” of gender inequality, expected gender roles, common sexual practices, heterosexuality and standards of beauty. We are looking for works that speak about absence, invisibility, exclusion, denial and disciplining of those bodies, genders and sexualities which “do not fit” into the common sense “normality”.

Since the 9th edition of Red Dawns festival is dedicated to its audience, we are looking for works and events which try to actively involve the audience. We are also looking for women with technical skills (from car mechanics to web page programming) who would be willing to lead workshops and share their knowledge.

Send your propositions to: rdece.zore@gmail.com
Deadline for applications: January 15th 2008


Mail contact:
Red Dawns
KUD MREŽA
Masarykova 24
1000 Ljubljana
Slovenia

http://www2.metelkova.org/rdece/



In v slovenščini:

Feministični in queer festival Rdeče zore se bo med 5. in 9. marcem 2008 že devetič odvijal v Ljubljani.

K sodelovanju vabimo neuveljavljene ustvarjalke in ustvarjalce, aktivistke in aktiviste, ki v svojih delih in dejanjih izprašujejo samoumevnost spolne neenakosti, ženstvenost žensk in možatost moških, samoumevnost nekaterih seksualnih praks, heteroseksualnosti in meril telesne lepote. Iščemo dela, ki opozarjajo na odsotnost, nevidnost, obrobnost, izločenost, zanikanje in discipliniranje tistih teles, spolov in seksualnosti, ki štrlijo ven iz »zdravorazumskih« povprečij in samoumevnosti.

Deveti festival Rdeče zore posebno pozornost namenja – publiki, zato iščemo dela in nastope, ki občinstvo aktivno vključujejo v dogajanje. Iščemo tudi ženske s tehničnimi spretnostmi (vse od avtomehaničnih popravil do postavljanja spletnih strani), ki bi svoje znanje želele deliti z drugimi.


Predloge pošljite na e-naslov: rdece.zore@gmail.com

Prijavni rok: 15. januar 2008


Kontakt:
Rdeče Zore
KUD MREŽA
Masarykova 24
1000 Ljubljana
Slovenija

http://www2.metelkova.org/rdece/

nedelja, 11. november 2007

Za socialne pravice vseh!

Dobimo se ob 9:30 na Trgu OF (pri konju nasproti Železniške postaje)! Ob 10:30 se pridružimo delavskim demonstracijam na Dunajski cesti.

Več informacij: http://www.n17-n17.blogspot.com/


Feministična pobuda za socialne pravice vseh

Ženskam so enake možnosti pravno zagotovljene, vendar zakoni ne odražajo dejanskih razmerij moči v družbi. Vsak dan – doma in na delovnem mestu – prihaja do nespoštovanja, kršitev in omejevanja naših pravic:

- tradicionalno »ženske poklice« (vzgojiteljice, čistilke, tajnice, negovalke), ki so vezani na sfero zasebnega, še vedno v večini opravljajo ženske. V patriarhalni družbi so ti poklici, tako kot neplačano materinsko in gospodinjsko delo, manjvredni in posledično manj plačani;

- delo žensk je še vedno podplačano;

- doma in na delovnem mestu so ženske izpostavljene nasilju in spolnemu nadlegovanju;

- delodajalci posegajo v zasebnost žensk (načrtovanje družine, spolna usmerjenost) in jih zaposljujejo samo za določen čas;

- ženske, ki delajo na črno, posebej tiste, ki so se odločile za seksualno delo ali jih je v to prisilila revščina, so izpostavljene samovolji delodajalcev.

Slovenska oblast diskriminacijo žensk podpira s svojimi dejanji. Pred letom dni smo se

morale ponovno boriti za pravico do splava, saj so jo revnim ženskam hoteli odvzeti; socialno ogroženim ženskam niso dostopne najmanj škodljive vrste kontracepcijskih tablet z najnižjimi hormonskimi osnovami, saj so plačljive; pravica do oploditve z biomedicinsko pomočjo je še vedno rezervirana samo za ženske, ki spoštujejo tradicionalne krščanske vrednote in želijo otroka vzgajati v partnerstvu z enim moškim, medtem ko je vsem drugim ženskam – nemonogamnim, samskim, lezbijkam – to onemogočeno.

Ljudje, ki se v času zmanjševanja socialnih pravic čutijo ogrožene, se oklepajo tradicionalnih krščanskih vrednot in podpirajo prav takšno oblast. Tradicionalne vednote najbolj škodujejo ženskam: odvzemajo nam svobodo odločanja, saj nas ponovno potiskajo v vlogo žen, ki naj skrbijo za može, da bodo ti zdravi in pokorni hodili na delo; mater, ki naj skrbijo za otroke in državi priskrbijo svežo delovno silo; delavk in študentk, ki naj molče prenašajo krivice in spolno nadlegovanje.

Dovolj je bilo fizičnega in psihičnega nasilja nad ženskami!

Dovolj spolnega nadlegovanja!

Dovolj je bilo diskriminacije na delovnem mestu!


Ženske in moške pozivamo k solidarnosti in sodelovanju!

Zahtevamo spoštovanje zakonsko zagotovljenih pravic!

Zahtevamo pravico do razpolaganja z lastnim telesom!

Zahtevamo pravico do izbire!

sreda, 07. november 2007

Rdeče zore at [prologue] III in Graz!

Rdeče zore are going to Graz, Austria on November 8th and 9th 2007 to present ourselves at the 3rd event in the [prologue] series. The "Performative Strategies" symposium is organised by Reni Hofmueller. Background information, the programme, place and participants list can be reached at: http://esc.mur.at/prologue-symp2007.html

sobota, 20. oktober 2007

Koncert: Agatha, Bržjast, Be Creep

Hripava Zora vabi na hrupen rock koncert zasedb

AGATHA
BRŽJAST in
BE CREEP

v četrtek, 1. novembra 2007, ob 22h
v Menzi pri koritu, AKC Metelkova mesto, Ljubljana

Vabljene, vabljeni!

*

Trio AGATHA v postavi Claudia (bobni), Daniela (kitara) in Pamela (bas, vokali) je uglašen na težaški noise rock z založb Amphetamine Reptile in Touch and Go, ki mu je sredi devetdesetih sledilo šumenje in piskanje v ušesih, v kombinaciji s Shellac, No Means No in Unsane pa tudi raztrganine bobniča, poškodbe slušnih koščic in končno tudi kronična naglušnost. Sledila je tišina. Trio Agatha (neje)verno obuja noise rock od mrtvih … kar na dan mrtvih.

Diskografija:
Greetings from S.sg (Wallace/Vurt, 2005)
Getting Dressed for a Death Metal Party EP (Wallace/ Stress to Death/Smartz/Full Speed Ahead/The Fucking Fucking, 2007)

Povezave: www.myspace.com/agathatrio
www.wallacerecords.com

*

BRŽJAST je nastala leta 2001 iz ostankov zasedb Kislo grozdje in Dead End. V novi postavi – Martin (kitara, bas, glas), Tadej (bobni) in Tan (kitara, glas) – igra od leta 2004. Poleti 2005 je trio posnel album “BR—“, jeseni 2006 je po Sloveniji nastopal v okviru Klubskega maratona Radia Študent.

“Sežanska Bržjast je sestavljena iz nekontroliranih izbruhov radoživega kitarskega hrupa, óblaste, a hudo členjene ritmike in rahlo s tonalnostjo skreganimi vokali, ki uravnílovko v rock glasbi sesuvajo v neskončno mnogo delcev. Bržjast je strupenjača, ki rocka v opoziciji in povzroča skelečo srbečico enoumju v popularni glasbi.” (Radio Študent)

Povezava:http://www.myspace.com/brzzjast

*

Psihadelična in garažna rock zasedba BE CREEP igra poldrugo leto. Prihaja iz Ljubljane, čeprav so ji bližji zvoki iz drugih krajev: njeni člani Uroš (kitara, glas – igra tudi v The Real Things), Linč (bobni, glas – Kraški solisti, Kramfid, prva zasedba Bržjasti...), Janez (kitara) in članica Nina (bas) poznajo glasbene svetove Melvinsov, Sonic Youth, Jesus Lizard in Arab on Radar, pa tudi planet Captaina Beefhearta jim ni tuj.

Povezava:http://www.myspace.com/becreep

sreda, 11. julij 2007

Feminist Street Actions in Ljubljana (2000-2007)

Feminist Street Actions in Ljubljana (2000-2007)

Introduction

In Ljubljana there are several academic, non-governmental and grassroots groups whose individual members cooperate in public protests against cases of misogyny and discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. Their collaborations are provisional as they form in response to particular cases of discrimination or hatred and usually disband when other political groups decide to join or continue their efforts. This defensive, even reactionary position is one of the reasons for their political and public invisibility. Nevertheless, they are important agents of both continuity and change within the fragmented feminist map of Ljubljana since the alliances were initiated by a new generation of feminists born in the late seventies and early eighties.

In spite of several feminist activist alliances of the past years, it would be wrong to assume that activists initially chose temporality because of its advantages as an organising principle or tactical tool. Instead, the provisional nature of cooperative actions reflects problems that are specific for post-socialist countries and only partly coincide with problems of western feminist perspectives: the reluctance to identify and be recognised as feminists due to the general misunderstanding and stigmatization of feminism as a separatist and misandrist ideology; the depoliticised attitude towards a number of issues including social differences within the fictionally unified subject of women; the lack of solidarity between feminists and other potential allies as an expected consequence of depolitisation in an atomized society that, at first sight, leaves us with only one common denominator: “class-blind” consumerism.

Feminist academic, non-governmental and grassroots groups in Ljubljana largely differ in the means they have at their disposal to reach specific goals. Differences in size, structure, finances, policies and differences in their members’ age, education, status, experiences, needs and idea(l)s embody the entire history of feminisms including traditional essentialist views, poststructuralist feminism, lesbian feminism and more recent post-feminist, queer perspectives. Confrontations between advocates of different feminisms are inevitable, and while they can result in constructive dialogue and collaborations it is more common that they lead to fragmentation. Despite of – or is it because of? – Ljubljana’s relatively small population of 300,000 and a very limited number of politically active feminists, inherent antagonisms either remain unspoken or are transferred to the level of personal arguments and dislikes. The same people are involved in several groups at a time or both horizontally and vertically move through different groups. I am tempted to interpret vertical mobility as a sign of social aspirations of younger and working class feminists and willingness of older, academic and middle class feminists to work together, improve their work methods and change the way society is organised. However, in the context of Ljubljana’s feminist groups, such clear-cut class divisions are theoretical fiction. In the same context, mobility merely supports the persistence of the aforementioned problems in groups of all types.

My essay is focused on some promising exceptions.


“Are There Any Feminists Left?”

“After the fall of the Berlin Wall, in the period of great social and political changes, one part of women’s and feminist groups in Slovenia was sucked into ruling structures while the other continued to develop in academia. (…)” In the eighties, the feminist movement was more condensed and perhaps that is why it was more visible. In the nineties, several focal points appeared and the feminist perspective was incorporated into the social body as a whole. Feminists are present at universities, institutions; there is very lively publishing activity, with many small presses releasing feminist works (*cf, Sophia, ŠKUC’s Vizibilija and Lambda editions, Krtina, Analecta, Studia Humanitatis,…); there is Delta magazine; Radio Študent is doing an excellent job when it comes to feminist issues; an active part of feminist scene consists of women’s groups (SOS phones, Association Ključ); a number of cultural and artistic projects with women’s or feminist themes (festivals like City of Women and Rdeče zore) is growing” (Bahovec in Simčič, 2006). The one part not mentioned by Eva D. Bahovec can be placed within (post)feminist politics only in retrospect. Artists who founded Disko FV and theatre FV 112/15, also organised Festival Magnus, the first gay and lesbian public coming out in Yugoslavia in 1984. Their erotic video production chose non-heterosexual, “gender-bending, gay, lesbian and transvestite” roles as a provocative and “conscious political positioning of sexuality” (Gržinič, 2005: 219). While Neven Korda, Zemira Alajbegović, Aldo Ivančič, Marina Gržinić and other involved artists nowadays continue with their artistic and intellectual careers, their efforts – and same goes for feminist achievements – from the mid-eighties are generally not mentioned as a source of inspiration by the generation of women and men who became acquainted with feminism during the last two decades.

Vlasta Jalušič observes that proliferation of Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian women’s and feminist groups during and after the war was enabled and (NGO-ed!) with international foundations’ support. For obvious reasons, the support for Slovenian groups was smaller. After 1995, the lack of funds, pacification of feminists during the war (many women’s groups’ focus shifted from political, educational and preventive work to humanitarian and social work) and their defensive policy (they organised only in defence of already existing rights) decreased the number of feminist initiatives and activities (Jalušič, 2001: 173-196) to the extent that they became invisible and ineffective in the political arena. Today, many young feminists are unaware of these local traditions. Instead, they are influenced by women’s studies and feminist theory courses based on British, American and French literature. They accept these as the only available feminist genealogies. Leaving aside the fact that local and specific feminist traditions do exist, the monopoly of Western feminisms and their unquestioned application to post-socialist situations is problematic. It “consents to the populist conviction that the era of accelerated globalisation is not an appropriate time for stipulating distinctions between East and West”. The idea of our fundamental sameness and equality is a “symptom of an ideological blind spot, a blindness which is unaware of its own claustrophobic impulse and totalitarian flavour; both of which characterise every ideology of privacy” (Gržinič, 2005: 60).

In 2006, journalist Valentina Plahuta Simčič wrote about current feminist movements in Slovenia. She begins the article by quoting her surprised friends who wondered whether there are any feminists left at all. The interviews that follow include two prominent feminist academics and a feminist festival organiser. Although their answers prove that the question is superfluous, they fail to clearly see the whole spectrum of feminist activities in Ljubljana. Focusing on institutionalised and publicly recognised groups, they do not see the activities as being exempt from their criteria: feminist street actions inspired by the praxis of creative resistance; inspired by those rare groups and individuals in Slovenia which “dared and managed to walk into the political reality of the late nineties on their own terms – by politicising new issues and creating political spaces from below” (Zadnikar, 2004: 15). Such actions appeared sporadically between 2000 and 2007. They were self-organised and technically non-existent due to their provisional and illegal nature.


Feminist Street Actions (2000-2007)

The first feminist street actions of the new century in Ljubljana were inspired by the informal network of groups and individuals that began its political activities after world-wide protests against the World Trade Organisation meeting in Seattle in 1999. In response to biased reports in the Slovenian media that addressed the protesters as “criminals”, a group of protesters walked the streets of Ljubljana in November 1999 and carried banners claiming that “We are the criminals!”. The movement gained further experience with “smaller actions and performances (in Interspar, a group of women activists ’advertised’ Heidersil; a new washing powder that cleans historic stains and contains ’adolfils’), with solidarity and group actions (International Day of Disabled Persons), with constant resistance to police harassment in Autonomous Cultural Center Metelkova mesto, by participating in Prague protests and with raising attention to state violence” (Zadnikar, 2004:15). In order to coordinate the network, the Bureau of Interventions (UZI – Urad za intevencije) was founded. The bureau was a fictional organization with fictional headquarters, leadership and members; it consisted of a series of meetings where individual activists and self-organised groups learnt how to communicate and organize in anti-authoritarian ways. Women and feminists who took part in these meetings politicised gender and sexuality in relation to many other issues: violations of women’s sexual autonomy and reproductive choices, poverty and discriminatory labour market, invisibility of marginalised and victimised people, privatisation of public spaces and right-wing reinterpretations of recent Yugoslavian and Slovenian history. They expressed their identity and politics through relatively explicit feminist terminology and used street protest as their tool of resistance.


De-privatising the Public

On March 8th 2001, the Women’s Section of Bureau of Interventions carried out two simultaneous actions. Small groups of activists temporarily squatted in cosmetics and women’s clothing departments of stores in the centre of Ljubljana in order to address the commercialisation of International Women’s Day and the repressive nature of private spaces reserved exclusively for consumption. They danced among the bewildered customers and spread out flyers reading: “The International Women’s Day might make you worry about exactly what it is that makes you a woman. Is it your man? Your child? (…) The contents of your shopping bag? Your high heels? (…) The way you hold your cigarette? All of this is important. (It really doesn’t matter.) You are important.” When security staff threatened the squatters with police intervention, the groups continued the action in front of the stores. One group read a manifesto demanding the creation of public spaces where “we can let our bodies and minds run free” as opposed to “control that is exerted over us automatically by the spaces we live and move in. We go through certain rituals in our lives—work, “leisure”, consumption, submission—because the world we live in is designed for these alone. (…) All the spaces we travel in have pre-set meanings, and all it takes to keep us going through the same motions is to keep us moving along the same paths” (CrimethInc Collective, 2000). The second group read excerpts from Virginia Woolf’s essay, A Room of One’s Own (1929). Since both groups managed to engage random passers-by in conversation, they declared their actions successful[1].

On the same day, Nada Hass (“nada” = nothing in Spanish, “hass” = hate in German), an improvised all-female activist choir performed at Klub Gromka in ACC Metelkova mesto. Dressed up as cleaners and housekeepers, they sang: “Let’s set things straight with our past, let’s wipe away the borders, let’s make our relationships work and wipe away the violence…” (Ozmec, 2001:14). Nada Hass was a fictional public relations personality invented in order to “avoid exposure of individual activists and avoid media production of “leaders” (…) Nada Hass did many phone interviews but never appeared on television. Many were disturbed by Nada’s combination of playfulness, irony, performance and political issues” (Zadnikar, 2004:16).


Sexual Autonomy and Reproductive Choices

In 2000, the new right-wing government attempted to implement legislation making artificial insemination available only to couples who are married or cohabiting. This serious violation of women’s reproductive choice faced severe opposition from a wide array of feminist, lesbian and other groups. It culminated in the Festival of Resistance on June 16th 2001. Later that year, “liberally-oriented political parties tried to introduce an amendment that would make medically-assisted artificial insemination formally accessible to single, disabled and lesbian women. However, the right-wing parliamentary parties used the opportunity of installing a public referendum about the issue. The right of single women to get artificially inseminated was put under the final decision of the voting majority in the summer of 2001. The outcome was that according to the new legislation, artificial insemination is not accessible to single women” (Bahovec, Vodopivec, Salecl, 2002:15).

A second sexist and homophobic attack on women’s rights by the state followed in November 2006, when the former Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, Janez Drobnič, proposed a “fertility raising strategy” which, among many other discriminatory suggestions, limited access to abortion. The strategy proposed a 400 € fee for certain abortion procedures, thus making sure that abortion would become inaccessible for a large number of poor women. This unconstitutional “strategy” attracted considerable public criticism from experts and non-governmental organisations and was followed by the Prime Minister's proposal to remove Minister Drobnič from office Criticism was expressed in many public discussions, which resulted in the creation of the Public Initiative for the Formation of a Comprehensive National Strategy, in January 2007. The new initiative was formally sent to the new Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, Marjeta Cotman, and the government.

The criticism was first expressed by activists. On 17 November 2006, The Feminist Initiative in Support of Abortion Rights entered ministry bureaus and awaited the employees with statements objecting to the proposed strategy: “The state reduces women to irrational beings who are unable to decide for themselves (…) and whose primary function is reproduction. (…) We strongly oppose the proposed strategy and ask ourselves how is it possible that Slovenian government is systematically violating and abolishing human rights. Who is going to be next?” The activists used posters and banners to surround the bureaus and expose it to the public as a violator of women’s rights. The slogans – “Women = birth machines”, “Defend abortion rights - tomorrow it is going to be too late”, “Yesterday migrants and Erased citizens, today Roma people and women; who is next?” – placed discriminatory policies against women in the context of institutionalised violence against marginalised minorities. On November 30th, The Initiative also co-organised a public discussion about the proposed strategy together with Ljubljana’s Peace Institute and Red Dawns Festival.

In addition to the actions mentioned above, an anonymous group attacked the strategy with a graffiti action that included witty slogans like “Let’s abort Drobnič!” or “I’d rather be a test-tube baby than Drobnič’s child” (or in Slovenian: “Bolje epruveta kot Drobnič za očeta”).

Already on March 8th 2005, a small feminist group staged a burlesque portrayal of patriarchal family roles and relationships in Park Zvezda, and managed to ridicule Minister Drobnič personally by calling itself The “Janez Drobnič” Folklore Group. The public letter that accompanied the action criticised “the minister” who “sent women back to the kitchen by saying that fired women workers from the textile industry “who are skilled in cooking and other kinds of domestic work” could use their skills on the labour market as well. (…) Member of Parliament, Pavel Rupar, suggested that the state should lessen its financial support for safe houses because they undermine the idea of family as a traditionally safe environment. (…) All these statements are violent and put pressure on residents of Slovenia.”


Poverty and Solidarity

In 2003, official statistics estimated that 260,000 Slovenian citizens live in poverty. Since then, many textile and shoe companies (Prebold, Polzela, Beti, Peko, Alpina, etc.) have “reorganised” their production and “forcedly retired” many of their workers: middle-aged women with no chance of finding new employment in the shrinking labour market. Since factories were located in rural areas, their protests (and hunger strikes!) were ignored by everybody – the media, the labour unions, the feminists. There have been, at least to my knowledge, no feminist street actions addressing the social and economic exclusion of these women. I therefore mention two responses from The Anarchist Federation (SAF) and The Anarchist Union even though their members have no explicit connection to feminist politics. Romanticising the working class as a unified revolutionary subject, they believe that the problem of women’s exploitation is going to be “solved automatically” in the context of worker’s liberation and the “fall of capitalism”. In spite of their backdated ideals, their solidarity actions managed to bring media attention to the textile workers’ strikes and consequently demanded answers from the labour union that was supposed to support them in the first place.

On October 13th 2003, SAF wrote a Public Letter of Support and Solidarity with Workers’ Struggle. They specifically addressed the 227 fired workers of the Alpina shoe factory in Gorenja vas. SAF analysed the Slovenian “success story” of political and economic transition as “a moment without future. The factories are closed; capitalist exploiters (…), the rich (in this case the Kopač family) will receive billions and congratulate themselves for successfully managing the company?!?! They have abandoned you, used you and threw you away” (SAF, 2003). The same letter also called for solidarity protests in defence of workers’ rights. Earlier that year, on March 28th when a Ljubljana cigarette factory fired 269 workers and closed down production, The Anarchist Union suggested solidarity actions and the squatting of the factory as “the only efficient way to keep your jobs” (Anarho sindikat, 2003).[2]


Her Reinterpretation of History

The recent rise of right-wing political parties in Slovenia has resulted in radical cuts in students’, workers’ and pensioners’ rights and strengthened the oppression of women, the elderly, the poor, undocumented people and all other minorities. Similarly, it denies the tradition of anti-fascism that peaked during World War II and continues to reinterpret history according to its own political interests. In 2006, the feminist and queer festival Rdeče zore (Red Dawns) opposed these falsifications of memory and history with a symbolic action. On March 8th, the festival opened with a repertoire of revolutionary partisan songs sung by twenty-two members of the Women’s Choir of the Pensioner’s Association from Idrija. Earlier in the year, the choir was banned from performing at a partisan commemoration because the mayor of Trieste decided that the advertisements for the event were too reminiscent of “communist propaganda”. Red Dawns’ cultural action was a direct response to the mayor’s decision. It was also an attempt at “maintaining the connection with Slovenian feminist tradition” (Festival organisers in Bašin, 2006:15).

On March 9th 2007, several feminist activist groups renamed around sixty streets in Ljubljana. Street names are usually changed by new political forces that choose names according to their interests. Every new remapping of a territory changes the perception of the renamed place. The large number of renamed streets in post-war and post-socialist countries suggests that symbolic demonstrations of power are as important as material ones. Feminist interpretations of history can be understood as appropriations of spaces and visibility; both of which are still structurally denied to women. The basic idea of the action was to direct attention to the invisibility of historical female figures and raise questions about their life and work. Therefore, the new names included women artists, women whose lives were overshadowed by that of their famous husbands, fictional female characters from canonised novels and children’s literature, collective subjects and important events from feminist herstory and other names like “The Street of Your and My Mum”. Symptomatically, the media was more concerned about the activists’ identity (vandals or artists?) than their message.

Similar street actions were also carried out in Zagreb (2006), Kutina (2007) and Sarajevo (2006). Activists from Sarajevo believe that public actions are necessary because “patriarchal brainwash has done so much damage” that mass media and the “public arena” still debate about arguments “for and against feminism and gender equality as opposed to what are the challenges today or how to advance better presentation and equality between the sexes and genders.” The activists believe that “the only way to alleviate this approach is to do what we do through activism and advocating, but also by taking up as much public space as possible to communicate the diverse realities as they exist among people”.


Conclusion

“The rise of patriarchy and sexism that we are facing in the last years is incredible. I think it is necessary that women take to the streets; that they go into action. The situation is ripe for feminist activism” (Slapšak in Simčič, 2006). Indeed. The actions and alliances described in this paper suggest that small groups of people who are willing to deal with concrete problems can come up with tactical and constructive criticism. They suggest that one of the places where we can start rethinking and practising feminism in relation to struggles for social justice is – the streets.

I wish to thank Ana Jereb, Taida Horozović, Carla Ferreri, Nada Žgank and several “anonymous informers” for their precious help and comments.

All unattributed quotes are from anonymous sources.

Tea Hvala


Bibliography

  • Bahovec, Eva; Vodopivec, Nina; Salecl, Renata: Employment and Women’s Studies: The Impact of Women’s Studies Training on Women’s Employment in EuropeSlovenia. Hull, Hull University, 2002.
  • Bašin, Igor: Separatistični feminizem? Ne, hvala. Dnevnik, Ljubljana, March 8th 2006.
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Online at: http://www.crimethinc.com/library/english/alien.html

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  • Kukovec, Dunja: Humor Works exhibition. In: Karla Železnik (ed): Laugh Out Loud! 13th International Festival of Contemporary Arts – City of Women, Mesto žensk – Društvo za promocijo žensk v kulturi, Ljubljana, 2007.
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Online at: http://www.mladina.si/tednik/200111/clanek/m-osmi/

  • Anarho sindikat: Poziv na zasedbo tovarne in borbo za ohranitev delovnih mest. Ljubljana, March 28th 2003.
  • Socio-anarhistična federacija: Odprto pismo delavkam in delavcem v znak podpore, solidarnosti in borbe. Ljubljana, October 13th 2003.

Online at: http://www.avtonomija.org/anarhosindikat/datoteke/

  • Simčič, Valentina Plahuta: Ne smemo se slepiti, patriarhat je povsod! Interview with Eva D. Bahovec, Svetlana Slapšak and Tea Hvala in Delo, Ljubljana, March 30th 2006
  • Zadnikar, Darij: Kronika radostnega uporništva. In: John Holloway: Spreminjamo svet brez boja za oblast: pomen revolucije danes. Ljubljana, Študentska založba, 2004.


[1] Other examples of playful de-privatisations of public spaces in relation to commodification of woman’s bodies can be found in the works of the artistic duo kitch™. In 2005, kitch™ made a living room in a public park; their street installation / sales action Public Air consisted of balloons filled with “public air” that was sold for 4 € per balloon; their XXX Sale project portrayed a disembodied female doll whose body parts were priced and exhibited in a shop window.

[2] Also in 2003, journalist, costume designer and video artist Marija Mojca Pungerčar dedicated her installation Singer and the accompanying publication Singer: A Newsletter for Closed Textile Factories in Slovenia to women workers of the Slovene textile industry. “The machine that first promised, and also made possible, economic independence,” she wrote, “has led millions of women all around the world into a future of poorly paid work. For many of Slovenia's textile workers, even this story has come to an end.” A chorus of women textile workers' from Mirna peč performed at the installation opening. In October 2007, as part of 13th International Contemporary Arts Festival City of Women, Jana Prepeluh, “an artist lacking in formal education”, made a shoe cleaning street action entitled Pri Tleh (Down To Earth). She was “researching the attitude to non-material or manual work by overworked alienated individuals in a contemporary society in which work is still associated with social status. At various locations around the city, she provided special shoe cleaning services – aimed also at those who believe it is for real. After all, it really was about cleaning shoes.” Testimonies to the event were available in the ŠKUC gallery as part of the Humor Works exhibition in the form of recorded conversations between Jana Prepeluh and her customers (Kukovec, 2007: 32).

četrtek, 12. april 2007

Narobe? Nova GLBTIQ revija!

Pred kratkim je izšla nova in brezplačna GLBTIQ revija v slovenščini!

Revijo, ki je naslednjica Legebitrinih oznanil, izdaja Društvo informacijski center Legebitra. Dostopna je tudi v GLBT organizacijah, klubih Monokel in Magnus, na info točkah in pred Lezbično knjižnico. Če je ne najdete, pišite na: legebitra@siol.net

Na spletni strani Kluba Monokel si lahko ogledate vsebino prve številke: http://www.klubmonokel.com/

SMEJ SE GLASNO! Poziv k sodelovanju za avtorice stripov

Mesto žensk in revija Stripburger nagovarjata stripovske avtorice:

Smejmo se glasno! Takrat, ko se prepričujemo, da je ta svet najboljši med vsemi možnimi svetovi. Smejmo se resničnosti, ki jo prežema navidezni smisel, kajti smeh odkriva nesmisel, moti in odpira možnosti za spremembe. Lahko je burkast, grozljiv, tih, ciničen, samoironičen, sarkastičen, provokativen, plehek, grohoten, pritajen, zahrbten, odkrit ali nelagoden; ko ga slišimo, se nam zamajejo tla pod nogami.

Programsko izhodišče 13. mednarodnega festivala sodobnih umetnosti Mesto žensk predstavlja tema 'humor'. Humorja ne želimo zgolj 'kartirati' po vrstah (družbeno-kritični, črni, nacionalni, samoironični, fantastični, gender-specifični ipd.), ampak ga povezati z aktualnimi družbenimi in političnimi funkcijami. Oba – humor in umetnost – namreč dovoljujeta, da se izreče in udejani 'nedovoljeno'. Predstavljata nepogrešljivi komunikacijski kod za (potencialno) konfliktne in kočljive teme, hkrati pa prav skozi to poigravanje ohranjata navidez neizbežni status quo.

Smejmo se, četudi kaj ni smešno in se druge ne smejijo! Zahtevajmo, iščimo in najdimo humor in umetnost, čeprav se zdi, da so ostali samo še gospodarji in hlapci, tajnice in direktorji, naši in njihovi, zbiralci točk zvestobe, rezki osvežilci zraka, vojne za mir in virtualni denar. Če bodo naš smeh osmislili, se smejmo dalje. Smejmo se smislu našega smeha.

Tematski blok 46. številke revije Stripburger, ki nastaja v sodelovanju z Mestom žensk, bo namenjen predstavitvi avtoric, ki v svojih delih skozi prizmo humorja obravnavajo družbeno kritične in druge aktualne teme.

Vse, ki vas sodelovanje zanima, pošljite svoja dela (do pet črno-belih A4 strani – v primeru, da bi rade poslale strip v barvah, nas prej kontaktirajte) do 10. avgusta 2007 na elektronski naslov: burger@mail.ljudmila.org


Stripburger: www.stripburger.org

13. Mednarodni festival sodobnih umetnosti - Mesto žensk, 3. - 13. oktober 2007 www.cityofwomen.org

LAUGH OUT LOUD! Call for Submissions - for female comic artists

City of Women in collaboration with Stripburger comics magazine

Let’s laugh out loud - when we try to convince ourselves that this is the best of all possible worlds! Let’s laugh at the reality which is permeated by apparent sense, because laughter reveals nonsense, it disrupts and opens up possibilities for change. It might be ludicrous, dreadful, quiet, cynical, self-ironic, provocative, shallow, roaring, hidden, malicious, frank or uncomfortable; when we hear it, it rocks the ground under our feet.

The premise and programme of the 13th City of Women International Festival of Contemporary Arts is based on the subject of 'humour'. It is not our intention to merely 'map' humour by type (socially-engaged, black, national, self-ironic, fantasy, gender-specific, etc.), but to relate it to its actual social and political functions. Both, humour and art, permit the ‘impermissible’ to be portrayed and stated. Both represent the indispensable communication code for subjects which are potentially controversial or ticklish, while at the same time - by way of the humorous and light-hearted - the apparently inevitable status quo is maintained.

Let’s laugh even if something is not funny, and others don't laugh. We should ask, seek and find humour and art - although it may seem that all that's left are masters and servants, secretaries and directors, ours and theirs, loyalty point collectors, sharp air refreshers, wars for peace and virtual money. If they give meaning to our laughter, we should carry on laughing. Let’s laugh at the meaning of our own laughter.

The focus of 46th edition of comics magazine Stripburger, made in collaboration with City of Women, is going to be women authors’ comics who deal with socially engaged and other relevant issues through the prism of humour.

All those interested in participation please send your work (max. five black-and-white A4 pages – if you want to send comics in colour, please contact us first) by August 10th 2007 via the following e-mail address: burger@mail.ljudmila.org


Stripburger: www.stripburger.org

13. International Festival of Contemporary Arts - City of Women - Ljubljana, Slovenia
3rd - 13th October 2007: www.cityofwomen.org

sreda, 28. marec 2007

Red Dawns photo exhibition opening!

You are invited to refresh your memory and have a laugh at the photo exhibition of the past four Red Dawns festivals (2004-07). Photos were taken by Anna Ehrlemark, Jasmina Klančar, Lisa Newman, Matija Praznik and Špela Oberstar. The exhibition also includes a flip-book with collected images from the 1000 Tiny Sexes workshop and posters questioning the relationship between sex and economy which were part of the Sex, Work and Society exhibition.

The exhibition will be in Kolodvor Library in Ljubljana (in the passage way under the main train station).

The exhibition opening will be on Thursday, April 5th 2007 at 20.00
WELCOME! (Open until April 30th.)

Library Kolodvor opening hours: Mon-Fri between 8:00 and 20:00
More info in Slovenian on: http://www.koz.si/

torek, 20. marec 2007

Questions about sex, work and society
























Working on the brochure text for Red Dawns festival we decided to create a questionnaire with the questions that came up in our research, curatorial and artistic processes and that each of us have considered as the most important. Soon, an idea appeared - to make posters out of the questions and to spread them in Ljubljana's public spaces. To put the questions on posters is the attempt to place them in society, to make them public on a broader base.

The posters are available in English and Slovenian at Alkatraz Gallery. Come, take and spread!

(The posters were made and this letter was written by
Julia Wieger, Elke Auer, Esther Straganz, Eva Jantschitsch and Eva Egermann.)


sreda, 14. marec 2007

How to change your sex and gender in a thousand tiny ways?

The 1000 Tiny Sexes workshop was attended by some very kul people from the furthest possible places - Iceland, Russia, USA, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Slovenia. Really, we came and continually come from landscapes all of our own, not fenced by political geography. We discussed gender and sex.

On the first day, we talked about situations which make us feel most reduced to our sex and gender. We countered those with situations in which we can "forget" about our sexual or gender identity because it simply doesn't matter - or is accepted in all its clarity/confusion. The exchange of experiences and feelings that followed seemed to lead to one narrow difference; the difference between situations in which we feel safe and accepted and situations in which we feel uncomfortable, even threatened. Because the latter are really common, lots of us were saying the same thing all over: we feel safe when we are alone, we forget about our sexed selves when we masturbate or have sex, when we are with friends.

The second day tiredness and the bike repairing workshop stole half of the participants. We drew 1000 tiny sexes and wrote down instructions about how to change your sex (temporarily or forever) and gender in a thousand tiny ways...

Thanks to everyone who participated! If you have drawn or written something on your own and would like to submit it to kanarinka and Jaimes Mayhew together with the rest of us... please write and send your contribution to rdece.zore@gmail.com

These are our paper traces:












































torek, 13. marec 2007

Deconstructing Cooking Workshop

Before the 1st and founding meeting of women's, feminist and queer festivals in the Balkans, Zoe led a five minute workshop to make 5-minute-sweets, especially valuable for big festivals and at home when you have house full of guests.


The recipe:
1 banana and/or 1/2 kiwi
1 chocolate spread
2 biscuits

Peel a banana, spread the chocolate over it, crush the biscuit all over and ... start an orgasmic eating. For post orgasmic experience try the same with half of a kiwi.

(Written by Dunja)

The Making of Herstory





Or: The 1st Meeting of Women's, Feminist and Queer Festivals in the Balkans.

Mima Simić & Drvena Marija in Klub Monokel

















Sex, Work & Society exhibition


Photos by Mikhail Nemtsev

Danijela Majstorović

Documentary film director Danijela Majstorović from Banja Luka came to Red Dawns to present her two documentaries: counterpoint for her and Dream Job and answered many many questions regarding the making of her documentaries and regarding the current social and political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Photo by Mikhail Nemtsev.

Reclaim the Streets!

On the night from March 8th, the International Women's Day, to March 9th, an anonymous group of activists reclaimed Ljubljana's streets. Or, to be exact, renamed them.

We were wery delighted and amused by the action which was documented a few days later by photographer Nada Žgank.

Red Dawns' team found the action higly amusing - especially because we have heard that similar actions happened recently in Sarajevo and Zagreb. Coincidence? A coordinated international feminist action? Or simply another proof of the unpredictable yet often coinciding birth and realizations of the same idea at the same time on a different place... Hoooray!

All Nada Žgank's photos can be seen on: http://www.mementoimage.com/ulice/

The Tiptons










































































Virginia Genta & Co









































































nedelja, 11. marec 2007

TRANS/FORM

























































































































sobota, 10. marec 2007