Building Bridges 2019 – Thank you! Merci! Danke! Gracias! شكر, ممنون, …

Newsletter #17

Some of us were very informed and present when Oplatz was occupied by the refugees in 2012 who participated in the march from Würzburg (Bavaria) to Berlin. This is the reason why we decided to hold this festival there having in mind that feminism is for everybody.It was no secret that we got real excited when we managed to get permission to hold our summer festival at the Oplatz. This was due to the historic connection it has with the refugee movement and we couldn`t have a better topic than calling it “Building Bridges Festival”.

It is a pity though from some of the comments and hearsay, that some groups, activists and individuals perceived it as a refugee women activity. At this point, we would like to say a big “THANK YOU” to all those who supported us in different fields (financially, facilitation of workshops, translations, childcare, cooking, cleaning, security, spaces in the neighbourhood, entertainment, publicity, building and demolishing the tents etc.) as groups or individuals and of course the participants. Together we managed to make a successful and memorable three day festival.

The festival like many of the first endeavours we have undertaken as, “Women in Exile and Friends” was basically to be open minded and opening up political spaces where feminist groups regardless of their topics can come up and work together without prejudices or hierarchies. We also had in mind that as soon as we are able and have the finances, we will have a room in Berlin which we would like to use for such purposes. 

For us refugee women* living in isolation, experience that refugee women* are doubly discriminated against not only by the discriminative racist refugee laws in general but also as women. We live in fear of being murdered, physical and sexual violence, lack of privacy, fear of deportation and traumas. This is why for us it is important to struggle, work together and find ways to stop oppression. It is possible and even necessary to struggle from different perspectives and always come together for “human rights”, as one activists said: “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights”..

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