INTERNATIONAL ANARCHIST MOVEMENT-ROMANIA:
REPORT ON 2008 LOVEKILLS ANARCHA-FEMINIST FESTIVAL:
The following story is from the A-Infos site, and it describes a recent anarcha-feminist gathering in Romania, hostile ground but increasingly-as in all of eastern Europe- putting down anarchist roots. The following has been slightly edited for reasons of English grammar and spelling.
Romania, Timisoara, Report on the 2008 Lovekills Anarcha-feminist Festival:
On 26th and 27th September 2008 the third edition of the anarcha-feminist festival Lovekills took place in Timisoara, although it seemed almost impossible to organise this kind of festival in a society where ignorance and materialism can be transformed very easy into a violent oppression against everything different. The first problem and the biggest one that the Lovekills Collective encountered was finding a place for this kind of event, but the ones who made this festival possible were the group H.Arta, those who assured us a place to host the workshops, the friends from Timisoara who agreed to put their own homes on the line and put so much time and effort into the so called "minor" problems like cooking, shopping and cleaning, and last, but not least, all the participants from all over that prepared and supported the different workshops.
The festival began at 12 o'clock with the "Welcome " and the presentation of the Lovekills Collective and festival, and it continued with the next workshops :
*Oppression of women by orthodox church
The lecture was focused on the Romanian context and it was part of a case study on the Romanian Orthodox Church related to: state, army, extreme right wing and oppression of women. The lecture was aiming at raising awareness: on how the church is manipulating and oppressing people, and especially women, how it is empowered by state, popular practices and traditions in doing so; bringing up issues that are not easily noticed, especially in regions where religion and church are no longer problems of actuality. Annex: exhibition.
When we think of prostitution we mostly think of direct prostitution that means the direct sexual contact of a prostitute with a client that is supposed to end with money paid by the client to the prostitute but there is also a latent prostitution, a subtle way of prostitution and less evident. This type of prostitution is hidden, secret and has more silent agreement in society then direct prostitution. Latent prostitution doesn't have to be consumed in sexual way but it has similar connotations to sexuality.
*- cut & change-
Cut & change was a workshop about our possibilities to question, change, reinterpret and re-contextualise the messages that are mass- transmitted through our clothing or other items that we use daily. We will cut, sew, paste, draw, combine, rewrite and divert the sexist, consumerist and stereotype messages, transforming them into messages that speak about the possible alternatives.
*-To shave or not to shave …
This is the question – a review on how society looks at "growing" hairs on different parts of the human body, how is this connected with gender roles, what's the point of depilation, do people do it because of beauty standards, health, fashion or is it just one more subject that is just unquestionable.
*- Stencil making workshop –
Stencil is a graffiti technique to express your political slogans and favorite pictures on t-shirts, walls etc. So bring your pictures you want to use, good slogans and if you have papers, colours and thin cutters.
In the evening movies and documentaries were aired:
Habitual Sadness 2 (Naj-eun mogsoli 2 )
( Follow-up to "The Murmuring" )
The story of the women at the "House of Sharing" continues. The old women who share a common bond lead a peaceful life in the countryside, raising vegetables, chickens and painting pictures. They are no different from the elderly women we see everyday. But they are all marked by pain and sorrow from their shared history of being comfort women during World War 2. They became subject to prejudice in their own homeland after their return to Korea. It is painful for them to watch other peoples' children and grandchildren, and they feel rage when the Japanese government tries to cover up the crimes they committed against them. The films asks us to remember what these women sacrificed and the shame and misery they faced even as these individuals pass away often forgotten by their own people.
Killing us softly
Jean Kilbourne's pioneering work helped develop and popularize the study of gender representation in advertising. Her award-winning Killing us Softly films have influenced millions of college and high school students across two generations and on an international scale. In this important new film, Kilbourne reviews if and how the image of women in advertising has changed over the last 20 years. With wit and warmth, Kilbourne uses over 160 ads and TV commercials to critique advertising's image of women. By fostering creative and productive dialogue, she invites viewers to look at familiar images in a new way, that moves and empowers them to take action.
THE MAGDALENE SISTERS, 2002
A thoroughly mind provoking film about 3 young women whom, under tragic circumstances see themselves cast away to a 19th-Century Magdalene Laundry home for supposedly 'fallen' women. Here, the women endure agonizing punishment and a long, harsh working system which leaves them physically drained and mentally challenged. As the girls bond together, it soon becomes clear that the only way out of the Magdalene convent is to escape, but with twisted Sister Bridget running the wing, any chances seem limited...
The day was closed with a vegan dinner.
Saturday the festival started at 13.30 with
-Self-defence open ended workshop-
Feminism - not just for women –
Discussion on the way patriarchal system is affecting men as well. Why are some men perceiving "feminism" as a struggle only for women ? And how can we overcome some preconceived ideas about this "separatism".
- Color hair-
D.I.Y workshop about how can you paint and cut your hair
- D.I.Y. – Computer Security workshop-
Let's discuss why computer-security is also for you important. Let's find out how it works on different computer system software (windows, linux, mac) to mail encrypted with gpg or pgp and how to make secure partitions on your hardware.
- Drag Workshop/drag-„
dressed as guy" or „dressed as girl" describes the performance of a gender which is not your biological one. After a short introduction about the history and idea of drag shows, drag kings and queens as a part of transgender practices and some basic skills like faking beards, breasts or penises, there was time for experiences.
Also in the evening the movie But I'm a cheerleader was shown - Megan is an all-American girl. She's a cheerleader, she has a boyfriend, etc. But she doesn't like kissing her boyfriend very much. And she's pretty touchy with her cheerleader friends. And she only has pictures of girls up in her locker. Her parents and friends conclude that she *must* be gay and send her off to "sexual redirection" school, full of admittedly homosexual misfits, where she can learn to how to be straight.
The night ended with a vegan dinner, that was followed by a good-bye party that we hope left behind some good times and memories. In my opinion, the most important element was the the feeling of friendship that the participants had. Some of them pointed out the fact that people could communicate and express their ideas freely and with no holding back, in a way that contravened all the prejudice and clichés in the actual society. The first thing is that the festival was anarcho-feminist and which the number of male participants, a large number, has to be mentioned in this article without a doubt in mind. The male participants got involved actively and were from all over, including outside the Romanian borders. The patriarchal ideal and sexism that it generates can easily be removed because they are absolutely outrageous and they do nothing but to destroy inter human relationships. The third edition of the LoveKills festival demonstrated again how the feminist practice could create anarchy.