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Tuesday, 25. June 2024.

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Women Space organized its Feminist Summer School (FSS) for the fifth time on Divčibare from July 23rd through 28th, 2013. FSS aims to support empowerment and bring numerous subjects of the feminist movement closer to the participants. This year special attention was paid to deconstructing patriarchy and its mechanisms for domination and status quo preservation. Moreover, significant time was dedicated to violence against women as the most explicit and dominant form of power demonstration. 

With over sixty participants, volunteers, facilitators and organizers this school was the largest and it enabled us to talk together about: patriarchy in our lives and possible resistance, violence through feminist approach, personal feminist issues about discrimination against women, short history of the feminist movement, practical feminism through workshops of empowering body and voice, creation of political messages with stencils and gave us the opportunity to create cartoon images of topics participants feel strong about and the workshop on emotional literacy. We discussed neoliberal capitalism and its influence on the female part of humankind, talked about identity policy and/or solidarity policy but also reflected on the representation of women in art and the topic of connections between veganism and feminism. Two very important subjects within the Serbian feminist movement – Existence of women other than heterosexual and position of Roma women drew a lot of attention this year too. Especially interesting discussion was related to the Ukraine based group Femen which was carefully prepared and delivered by FSS volunteers Milica Batričević and Ivana Anđelković, and which attracted one part of participants to talk about it until late in the night.

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This year workshop and discussion groups facilitators included long term activists and theorists from the Serbian women movement:Lepa Mlađenović, Sunčica Vučaj, Ljerka Mezga Ćurčin, Katarina Lončarević, Adriana Zaharijević, Ksenija Forca, Tanja Marković, Zoe Gudović, Slađana Rackov, Zorica Spasojević, Ana Panday, Vera Kurtić, Ana Zorbić, as well as Dragana Garić from Republic Srpska, free lance visual artist Helena Janečić from Croatia and art historian and last year's participant Maja Marković.

The school's last day was dedicated to the possibilities for young women to network and self-organize and this was done through presenting “Conquering Freedom: Young women and feminism” created and delivered by this year volunteers – all participants from the previous FSS's: Natalija Pljaskić, Tamara Mitič, Milica Batričević and Ivana Anđelković.

Volunteers organized also the hiking to Crni Vrh (The Black Peak) which encouraged those with necessary energy to walk together with a guide and climb this 1,096 meter high peak where they enjoyed a spectacular view.

This year FSS provoked a lot of interest and once again confirmed that similar activities remain highly needed and of invaluable importance to empower both individual women but the very feminist movement in Serbia.

Strength, warmth, positive comments and powerful hugs we received in the end empower us additionally and confirm our intentions to persist and continue to organize similar events.

Selected photograpsh from the FSS 2013 can be seen here

Women Space, August 2013.

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