workshops

1 The Rise of fascist Regimes and the Impact on Women

Yesterday Hitler, Franco and Mussolini; today, Erdogan, Trump, Putin, Orbán … The rise of fascist regimes have historically and also today mostly impacted women and communities that do not conform to their norms. In Turkey, the fascist regime of AKP-MHP first closed down women’s, communalist and other institutions that enabled self-organizing.

In Europe, we can also see a rise in fascist rhetoric; in Germany and France fascist parties demand a return to the classical role of women. They aim to destroy the achievements of the women’s movements and assimilate them into a system that serves only their interest. While this is subtler in western countries; in the form of defending their ‘own’ women from ‘foreigners’ coming into the country, the fascist forces in Turkey and other surrounding regions have no inhibitions about attacking women in every possible way.

When we look back at the 1930s, the correlation between hegemonial systemic crises and fascist rises becomes clear. In times of deep turmoil of the capitalist modernist system, attacks on women increase. Fascism conflicts with women’s liberation and promotes a white supremacist model. While doing so, self-determined life of women becomes biggest target of attack. This attack can only be countered with a common strategy and struggle against fascism.

Building a Feminist Front against fascism…

  • In view of these developments, isn’t it necessary to have a feminist front against fascism?
  • How can we learn from our history in order to create better and victorious practices against fascism?
  • Which practices are already available? How can we unite and effectively build and deepen our feminist struggle?
  • How could a common fight against fascism be shaped?

 

2 Feminicide, Sexual Violence and Self-Defence

Creating a common campaign against Feminicide

Women murdered on a daily basis is increasing globally, feminicide is still a disregarded crime that is downplayed in the media as ‘family drama’ or ‘relationship act’ etc. But as long as feminicide is not considered in all its dimensions an effective struggle against patriarchal violence will not be possible. Campaigns like #NiUnaMenos or the call of Yazidi women to declare August 3, the day of IS genocide in Sinjar, International Action Day Against Feminicide, aim to point out the need for a common struggle.

Self-defence of Women against the (state) rape culture

The constant violence against women restricts our freedoms and prevents women’s self- determination. Violence and feminicide are a crucial part of the patriarchal system of rule; that will not be solved within the system of the State. We need an adequate, self- organized way of dealing with it.

  • Looking at the concept of legitimate self-defence developed by the Kurdish women’s movement.
  • The role of education and organization as an important component of self-defence.
  • Sharing experiences: discussions on solutions that women have found globally to defend themselves…

 

3 Ecology

Creating an ethical transformation through a women’s liberation perspective to restore the relation of respect between society, nature and all living organisms…

The exploitation of earth for the benefit of the capitalist powers brings disastrous consequences not only to nature, but also to the entire society. State civilization knew well that cutting the connection of society from nature and the rest of living organisms would mean to cut its connection with its roots, ethics and autonomy and with this cutting society from its strength. Today we have reached a place where under so-called “development” and “energy” mega-projects, the most atrocious plans such as: dams, hydroelectric plants, coal mining, fracking, gas pipelines, new electric lines and high speed trains are making earth an uninhabitable place.

A common understanding and practice for an ecological struggle in the women’s movements…

From America to Asia, through Europe we can see women are especially standing up and resisting against the complete destruction of mother earth by the techno-industrial system, and consequently they have been assassinated.

  • What are the relations and similarities of domination over earth and domination over women?
  • Which method did capitalism and the state civilization use and continues on today to alienate society and specifically women from nature?
  • How we can learn from the present ecological struggles, and the leading role of women within them?
  • What we can learn from the natural communities and their relation with the nature?

 

4 Matriarchal Communities and Social Identities

Identity and diversity not from the centre of liberalism (the West), but from the natural societies…

Queer feminist theory and practice has brought new impulses and insights into alternative movements. But, we can observe the same attempts of assimilation that has taken place after the strengthening of the women’s and LGBTI movements. The ruling system and its powers seek to integrate ‘new’ identities into their system of representation, by facilitating identities to contest, and thus capitalize from these impulses.

Understanding one another, mutual recognition and overcoming divisions…

  • Discussion on the influence of orientalism in queer feminism.
  • Limitations of not answering the question of identity and women in our societies and movements today…
  • How can we develop emancipatory understandings of social relations based on the respect to diversity of identities?
  • Looking into non-binary and non-heteronormative relationships in indigenous and matriarchal societies from past to present.
  • Discussing the concepts of identity, diversity and women in patriarchal societies, and the concept of ‘free woman’ and ‘woman nature’ developed within the Kurdish liberation movement.
  • Analysing how patriarchy uses sexuality and gender order as a mechanism of suppression for the entire society
  • Overcoming divisions and leading an organized, robust, diverse and creative struggle against the patriarchal system.

 

5 War, Displacement and the politics of Migration

As Europe and the US have locked off their borders against the flood of refugees, that they in the first place created themselves, we see a spread of extra-state borders. By doing so, they exploit states and make them dependent, such as: Turkey, Libya, Eastern Europe, etc. Yet, they are the ones who deliberately push wars and conflicts, in order to destabilize the Middle East, Latin America and other resource-rich regions, to divide and control among themselves.

Today worldwide nearly 70 million people, more than half of them children, are on the run. Although only a small proportion lives in the global West, Europe and the US manipulate the ‘refugee crises’ in order to consolidate statist politics. Refugees are declared image of the enemy and nobody cares about the roots of their displacement. How do we as women need to address root causes of migration and flight?

  • Exposing the myth of the Golden West that itself has created, with its seemingly accessible wealth, women’s rights and democracy, which is circulating almost unbroken in the minds of the fugitives?
  • How can we advance the local organization of the people so that they can protect their resources, land and lives from the attacks of the colonial powers for self- determination?
  • Migration and the urgency to an answer from a situated gender perspective.
  • In the historical process of analysing colonial histories and struggles, the need for women to go beyond boundaries of the experiences and classical models of national liberation.

 

6. Colonialism, Capitalist Modernity and its impact on Women

According to the mentality of capitalist modernity and the hegemonic ruling elite, the control of women is absolutely crucial for implementing imperial and colonial politics. Western supremacy has been established in terms of racial virility and nationalism…

In a comparative perspective to discuss: what are the effects of cultural racism on women? Dispossession in colonialism deals with so-called epistemologies of violence, the problems of categorizing and orientalism…

  • Our answers to orientalism and cultural racism?
  • Look at the link between colonial policies of nation-states, knowledge and power.
  • Colonialism and displacement as matter of governmentality of territories
  • Approaches to Demography.

 

7. Feminization of Poverty and Communalist Economy

Within the historical process of global accumulation, we see how scarcity has specifically affected women and society, since production was based on patriarchy, from the creation of hierarchical societies and exploitation. In the tension between global accumulation, feminization of poverty and communalist economy, how can we reimagine the production of different values (against process of valorisation oriented on profit) created by women in different concrete experiences of communalist economy, against the material and symbolical capitalistic valorisation directed specifically and strategically to women.

Indicators that measure poverty in various societies have a western centred, stereotypical approach, created in accordance to the thoughts and practices of the privileged. Up till now the quality of life has been described and categorised by the privileged.

Re-valuing what’s life and economy, building women network linked to the principles of the common alternative

  • What about what we think and feel of life…
  • Which model of coexistence could come out of new definitions?
  • How can we prefigure an anti-systemic and non-capitalistic production of values and new measures of life based on sharing and communalistic approach?

 

8 Women and Alternative Media

Analysing alternative media is a core competent for social and political mobilisation. We can see media as a space of conflict and reapropiation of technology against censorship, playing a crucial role against women’s negative portrayal and making women’s multiple voices heard using different strategies. Apart from that media is one of the main spheres where social sexism is reproduced. How to use alternative media to overcome sexism?

Importance in questioning of media and technology as a professionalized space reserved to elites based on inequality on the bases of gender/class/race.

  • What could mean a reapropiation of communication and media expression beyond limits in the links that do not separate politics, ethics and aesthetics?
  • How to challenge existing hierarchies of power in mainstream media?
  • How we can rethink the use of alternative media not as object but as field of collective production of new political experience and languages?
  • How can an alternative media show the reality and truth being lived by women and other peoples?

 

9 Resisting the Present: putting Women’s Liberation theory into Practice

The understanding of women and feminist practice has became limited nowadays and theory and practice are more and more separated from each other. How this came to happen? Which role did the (feminist) academia played in this? Why there is a growing gap between activism and academia? Why the idea of separating academia and activism is highly problematic?

If we want to put our theory into practice we have to build a new society. We have to stop the passive role of criticising that patriarchy has given to us and instead start recovering our creative, forming, initiative abilities.

The workshop aim is not only to bring attention to the issues women are facing, but provide space for discussion and action on how to strengthen our activism and practice for radical change.

  • How to engage with the present in a productively oppositional way?
  • How to build an alternative system and mindset?
  • How to focus on our struggles, on our topics, on our aims without being distracted by patriarchal system?
  • What does meaningful activism look like?
  • What kind of methods do we need? Self-criticism, creativity, will-power, autonomous organization…