Call for Participation: Hidden places

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2011 by annakalina

Every city has and has had them — invisible, ignored places hiding in the open that can be anything from a place of refuge to the latest, coolest party location. Sometimes they can just be repurposed living rooms or garages or hole-in-the-wall bars, and sometimes they are places that first become places with a concert or a performance.

What ideas do you have about invisible, feminist and queer places? How can such (open) secrets be described or portrayed, thought and talked about? We aren’t interested in “increasing awareness” or shining unwanted light onto places kept dark. We are certainly not looking for new places to exploit to attract tourists. Rather we want to discover these places together without disrupting or disturbing what they are: safety.

Send your contributions and ideas to femzine [at] gmx.de by October 1, 2011. Through them, let us explore together those overlooked places hiding in plain sight.

Es gab und gibt sie in allen Städten – unsichtbare, versteckte, (un)heimliche, übersehene Orte, die Verstecke sein können, oder aber vom Rückzugsraum zum “hippen Geheimtipp” avancieren. Mal ist es ein Wohnzimmer, das umfunktioniert wird, ein anderes Mal eine Garage, eine Klingelbar oder Nicht-Orte, die spontan zu Orten auf Zeit umfunktioniert werden durch ein Konzert, eine Performance.

Welche Ideen habt ihr zu unsichtbaren, feministischen und queeren Orten?  Wie lassen sich (un)heimliche Orte beschreiben oder darstellen, über sie nachdenken?  Wir wollen damit nicht neue Sichtbarkeiten erzeugen und das Versteckte endlich ins  Rampenlicht rücken oder sie für das neuste Stadtmarketing gebrauchen. Vielmehr wollen wir zusammen diese Orte vielfältig erkunden, ohne zu stören, was sie auch sind: Schutz.

Schickt uns eure Beiträge und Ideen an femzine [at] gmx.de  bis zum 01.10.2011   – und lasst uns durch sie und mit ihnen einen Abend lang das (un)heimliche erkunden.

Where to get the new Femzine

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2011 by antjemaria

You can get the new Femzine issue at Tristeza  http://www.tristeza.org/ . Just ask at the bar- there you get the new and the old femzine. We are happy to sell some more femzines  in order to be able to do new things…

Enjoy the articles and join us for new events and issues!

The American

Posted in Uncategorized on March 8, 2011 by annakalina

Der Film “The American” von Anton Corbijn ist eine Art 100minütiger Lavazza Werbespot. Und zwar nicht nur weil George Clooney mitspielt sondern weil er voller Italien- und Genderklischees ist. Das erstere wäre zu verschmerzen. Klar, die Architektur dieser alten italienischen Kleinstädte ist charmant und kann meinetwegen immer wieder ins Bild gesetzt werden. Dicke, fehlbare katholische Priester à la Don Camillo und Peppone meinetwegen auch. Aber wenn eine junge Prostituierte ins Spiel gebracht wird, die aussieht wie eine gutsituierte Kunstgeschichtestudentin, die total sinnlichen Sex mit dem Protagonisten hat, also nicht sie es ihm sondern wie der Regisseur uns Glauben machen will ER es IHR total gut besorgt, sodass sie sich in ihn verliebt, dann leuten natürlich Alarmglocken… Solch ein Szenario hat denke ich nicht nur sehr wenig mit der Realität von Sexarbeit zu tun, es vermittelt vielmehr den Eindruck, Sexarbeit sei eine lustvolle Freizeitbeschäftigung bürgerlicher Frauen, die eigentlich Liebhaber suchen und keine Freier, und die auf das Geld auch gar nicht angewiesen sind. Da hilft im ganzen Filmsetting selbst die Figur des weiblichen, kühl-souveränen Profikillers nicht, diesen ärgerlichen Altmännerkitsch aufzuwiegen. Zweifelsohne der aus feministischer Sicht blödste Film den ich 2010 gesehen habe. (2009 war das “500 days of summer”)

queere Türpolitik

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 7, 2011 by annakalina

Ich war am Wochenende auf einer Party bzw. Clubnacht. Im Prinzip ein LGBT event, zu dem auch heterosexuelle weiße Männer Einlass finden. Klar, denn sonst wären ja z.B. eine Reihe von Trans*männern ausgeschlossen. Trotzdem hatte ich beim gehen den Wunsch nach einer wie auch immer gearteten “Türpolitik”, so blöd das auch klingt…Wie die genau aussehen kann weiß ich auch nicht, aber wenn ich auf einer Party voller flirtender und knutschender Lesben stehe und penetrative Blicke von offensichtlich nicht-homosexuellen Männern abbekomme, neben mir zwei Heteropärchen rummachen in einer Art “Sandwichkonstellation”, die beiden Frauen innen und Männer von außen in triumphaler Fuckers-Geste, auf der Bühne  die coole all-female Band tanzt, und sich bereits einige wenige mit auf die Bühne trauen, und unter diesen wenigen, die auch im Zentrum stehen wollen NATÜRLICH auch gleich ein Typ ist, dann kriege ich so 70er-Jahre-Feminismus Aggressionen. Vielleicht sollte ich mich locker machen, offensichtlich stört sich sonst niemand dran; im Gegenteil störten sich nur zwei Frauen daran dass ich mich während des Punk(!)-Konzerts mit meiner Freundin unterhielt… Menschen haben eben unterschiedliche Akzeptanzschwerpunkte.

“Women Chopping Wood” at Alexanderplatz

Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2009 by annakalina

As I am working near Alexanderplatz I coincidentally ran into a live installation by choreographer Dorte Olesen, taking place at
Alexanderplatz on 29, 30 Jun and 1 July.

To my surprise the Alexanderplatz was filled with women between the ages of 50 and 90 sawing, chopping and stacking wood, accompanied by a loud noisy sound of motor saws and chopping sounds, that where taped in action, amplified and transmitted via audio boxes.

I was totally overwhelmed by this whole performance and thought it was about the coolest thing I’ve seen on Alexanderplatz so far. Reading a leaflet, informing me this was “A manifestation of female strength and community feeling, of making the countryside visible in the city and depicting/ demonstrating the physical strength needed to generate energy.” I got a bit confused, but still, the words “physical strength” and “energy” where matching the scene in front of me.

“15 Swedish women will travel to Berlin to meet a group of German women. They will have three days to complete their task: transforming 30 cubic metres of logs into imaginative woodpiles. The challenge includes co-operation, communication and getting to know one another across language and national barriers.”, so the leaflet said. Wow, this was an international feminist summer camp!  The women worked together, got to know each other, gossiped together, took photographs of each other. Everything proceeded as if the women weren’t being watched by an irritated crowd of “Saturn”- or “Kaufhof”- shoppers or business workers on lunch break.

The reactions were diverse, but mostly divided by gender; while most female spectators were first a bit shy and hesitating  but then seemed to enjoy the whole athmosphere, laughed and made eyecontact with the women, most men were immediately attracted to the scene, looked very curious and fascinated, but then their curiousity turned into seemingly unsettling irritation. “Why are these women doing this?” “Was soll das?” I saw some men shaking their heads. Groups of men were making jokes, but just to distance themselves.

I took some photographs and a film with my mobile phone.

International Women´s Day

Posted in Uncategorized on March 9, 2009 by antjemaria

Everything looks pritty normal. It is sunday the 8th of march, International Womens Day and somewhere in Berlin there are some events, a demonstration, in some places some discussions, in others presentations on feminism  – somewhere and everybody tries to talk everything. In one small place there is a presentation on feminism in Iran and quite some people are coming to join the presentation, waiting interested to get an idea about the topic, because most of the audience does ever really got in contact with iranian feminism, me neither.

The girl that is presenting, a young german student that got in contact with the topic during her studies, starts to talk and I am loosing myself very soon in the flow of facts, numbers and quotes. The presentation seems to have a very loose concept and the understanding of feminism of the presenter does not become clear to me until the end. I start to ask myself, how much sense it makes just to let somebody presenting something and not to take a closer look on the person, the topic or to involve more people. The association of Iranian refugees has its office just nearly around the corner. They do have a group for women, … would it not be possible to find something more profound at the topic? People are talking about, that they really want to know something more about iranian feminism, but why nobody ever tried to get some knowledge. Most of the people in that room, i suppose, would describe themselve as openminded, feminists, antiracists, but how comes that we are all sitting in the most “mixed” quarter of Berlin, and listen to a german young girl, that never ever went to Iran, does not speak Persian and got her knowledge by reading some books and the Internet and has even no clear definition of her understanding of feminism? It is good that she is interested, that she propably wrote a paper about what she is presenting now – I do not want to devaluate her interest and work. I am just wondering what is happening and why obviously, the organizers of the event did not came up with the idea, to invite some Iranian feminists, for producing a wider picture and different perspectives. It should not be hard to find somebody – not in the melting pot of Berlin.

After an hour presentation people start to discuss about something, that the majority does not know. Because of the leck of knowledge conected with the fear of critizising the Islam to much, it becomes a very shapeless exchange of some vague ideas – until three, probably Iranians in Exile, enter the room. I feel that something strange is happening with me, because I give them a certain authority that allows them,  to say things, that would trouble me, if it would be said by somebody, whos native language is german and would not come from an islamic country. Trying to explain their point of view one of them is getting polemic. That offers me the possibility to get slowly back to my critical eyes. He claims that islamic feminism is a contradiction itself and cannot exist. The religion will never allow a woman to be equal among equals, because it would go against its theological ideas.  Those who claim, he argues, to offer a critical reading of the Quran, a feminist way of interpretation are false and just an instrument of religious leaders, to show the “western world” that the Islam is a modern religion where female can engage in female rights. Shortly said, islamic feminism cannot and does not exist. But, what happens when we just ignore, the movement, that labels itself as islamic feminism? It is part of reality in Iranian feminisms, whatever people think about, and other iranian feminist groups have to face this reality as well and if there would be a real interest to get an idea of the situation we cannot just watch what fits us. It is just possible to critize what we do know.

It could have become a very lively and inspiring discussion, but the ditch of knowledge could not have be overcome during such a short time. The discussion went on at two totally different levels and ended up more in the try to convince people, that missed the first step of gaining knowledge on the topic, directly of the right position. An absurd situation at the International Womens Day 2009 in Berlin, where I came to the conclussion that I have to ask myself, how far I am of fulfilling my aim, to care about my surrounding and to take into my feminist political thinking the reality I am living in. Well some could now say, that we cannot know everything, but migrants, islam and islamic feminism is far from being just a topic at the edge of my neighbourhood, but still it is possible that at a meeting of maybe 25 critical, left, feminist germans in Neukölln, nearly nobody is actually so familiar with the topic to take part in a qualified and critical disscussion.

Short interview with activists from the Queer Festival in BIH

Posted in Uncategorized on December 25, 2008 by antjemaria

 In September the first Queer festival in Sarajevo was supposed to take place, but it was not possible to realize the planed festival, because the opening was disturbed/interrupted by violent excesses against participants of the festival. Afterwards media published names of the Sarajevan activists and at the end it was not even possible to realize some actions in a private circle, because activists, artists and participants were attacked by opposers. The following short interview should give you an overview about the situation for the activists after the festival and on the impacts of it.

 

How you would describe the attitude towards queers or homosexuals in the Bosnian society before, the antipathy of hooligans and conservative religious circles was shown that open?

It was never easy – homophobia existed before the Festival as well, just few weeks before the opening two of our friends were attacked in one night club because they were ‘visible’ , meaning kissing each other. But, the Festival was the first huge public event that we have organized, and it was expected that it won’t go so easy. But, we did not expect it to be so violent. Religious circles sure have had huge impact, since they often serve as ‘coverage’ for many nationalistic, populist, and violent acts in these countries.

 

Do you feel a change in the attitude? How is it expressed?

Positive and negative – although the Festival attracted negative vibes, it also showed us how much people there is in Sarajevo who do recognize the genuine meaning of freedom, human rights and equality. Many of them stood up, not only in supporting queer community in BiH, but they also recognized that we had to defend secular principles in this state. That, I think, is the biggest value of the first QSF.

 

What influence, do you think, this happenings have at the attitude of the politicians?

The politicians simply demonstrated complete ignorance and the best of their own stupidity through their homophobic, xenophobic, nationalistic statements. But, all of these are kept in our archive, transcribed and translated to English, so that the whole Europe and international organizations might hear what their colleagues actually think and do in Bosnia.

 

What consequences all this had for your work concerning international attention but also acknowledgment? Shortly after the attack and demonstration a lot of international organizations and also newspapers watched Sarajevo and how things develop. Did this situation last longer than for the first amazement?

The attention was there, Council of Europe stated condemnation of the violence, and urged BH to stop discrimination against LGBTIQ persons. But, we expect much more of their support for the next Festival, primarily pressures on the local politicians in order for them to do everything to prevent violence.

 

Shortly after the opening of the festival, some of your group were threatened. How the situation is now, what changed in your practical work, are you confronted with more openly threats by the groups, named before now?

Yes and no – since the Festival, we did not organize anything public, so we will see what will happen when we do

 

How the attitude in the group of activists change because of this big backlash?

We got support and even one new anarchy activist group was formed, partially inspired by the QSF – that’s a huge compliment for us. As for the community, we managed to re-establish the forum as our main channel for communication and now we’re in the process of gathering people, developing strategies for the future.

 

What would be needed to realize a new volume of the festival, maybe next year?

We’re not giving up – the next Festival will be organized at the same time, same place. We’ll work more on our pr strategy this time, and definitely learn a lot from the first one. At this moment, we’re thinking about the new organizational structure and program. See you there!

 

Thanks!

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