Preliminary Exercises 15.11.2016–11.01.2018
Curators Elena Agudio, Federica Bueti, Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro
How does the meaning of feminism change in different contexts and times? And, what can we learn from historical feminist practices? “Feminism”, Yemisi Aribisala writes, “cannot be globally defined because Pangaea broke into pieces 250 million years ago and many wild waters and hazardous bush must be traversed to evangelise my kind of savage. The world is not one.” On the other hand, Science-fiction writer Octavia Butler describes it in terms of the act of writing yourself into the world: “You got to make your own worlds. You got to write yourself in it.”
How do we – women, men, transgender, not-men – write ourselves into the world? And, how do we unwrite an already written page? How do we imagine a different language, another collective politics from the perspective of feminist practice today? When vulnerable communities continue to be threatened by racism, xenophobia, acts of bullyism, and violence against women, gay and trans-people, we feel the urge to address these and other questions in an attempt to mobilise and develop new feminist politics and practices.
For this series of preliminary exercises, our point of departure is the acknowledgement of a deep, and we hope productive, disagreement on the meaning of and the contemporary valence of this term. Perhaps this is already what feminism is about, a form of collective non-alignment. Through a series of performative events, talks and workshops, Speaking Feminism enacts the multiple histories, struggles, and voices that define ‘feminism’ as both a practice and a concept.