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Feminist Futures Festival

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Last weekend, from 12th to 14th September, in the framework of the Feminist Futures Festival, Women in Exile was invited to give a Workshop on “Women, Asylum and Solidarity: How open are my political structures to refugee women?”.

Feminist Futures Festival; the event was a highlight among the feminist movement in Germany. It was a huge feminists gathering since many years. More than 1000 women* from all over the world came to the Festival to share their knowledge, experiences, meet and have fun together.

Our workshop was attended by around 80 participants and we posed three questions for reflection:

How do you define feminism?
What are the barriers that prevent people from equal participation?
What would you change to have an inclusive feminism?

One and half hours is not enough time to have a too deep talk and outcome, but still there was some very interesting feedback, it opened questions to be further thought. We can share just some notes taken here and there for collective reflection.

Around what is feminism came up definitions that define it as an inclusive practice, collective practice against the patriarchal system.

While trying to detect the barriers; language, childcare, paternalistic attitudes by white people, lack of confidence, division, race, left wing codes that exclude other approaches were identified. This opened out the questions such as; what to do when white comrades don’t want to talk about racism.

On the question on what to change to have an inclusive feminism; different feelings were expressed. Some white activists said they were shy and feared asking questions or discussing racism and classicism. These discussions are taken for granted when it is part of theoretical frameworks, but in normal conversations are afraid of talking in case of saying something wrong.

It was enhanced the importance of being open to critics, since we are not born perfect, reflecting and taking into consideration privileges and needs. Creating mixed spaces between white and non-white activists to be able to learn from each other by experience without speaking over others voices.

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