In a cruel twist of fate, I fear that the movement for women’s liberation has become entangled in a dangerous liaison with neoliberal efforts to build a free-market society. That would explain how it came to pass that feminist ideas that once formed part of a radical worldview are increasingly expressed in individualist terms. (…) A movement that once prioritised social solidarity now celebrates female entrepreneurs. A perspective that once valorised ‘care’ and interdependence now encourages individual advancement and meritocracy. Nancy Fraser, How feminism became capitalism’s handmaiden – and how to reclaim it, “The Guardian”, 14 Oct 2013. See: … Continue reading
This text stems from the need to enter into a dialog with the Feminist Futures Festival that was held in Amiens and Lisbon in January this year. As one of five twin or tripled festivals happening between 2021 and 2024, each festival takes place in similar versions, one after the other in two different cities. Initiated by the apap – advancing performing arts project, the festivals are a part of the larger EU-funded programm apap – FEMINIST FUTURES with the high aim of – in its own words – “initiate powerful social changes through art”.
In our text we are addressing the concept of the festival itself – including its programming – and the Feminist School that accompanied it as well as the controversial idea of a Feminist Business Model, which emerged in its frame, builds up its foundations, and informs its strategies. While attending the shows and debates, and taking part in more informal conversations, we felt something rasping here at the joints between the core components of the idea. Because if business is a commercial activity about dealings of an economic nature, buying and selling goods, then aren’t business and feminism antinomic? Is it possible to hybridize one with another? Is it worth doing at all? And should business have a leading part in thinking about performative arts in the first place? If we imagine a festival that does not focus on the primacy of buying and selling art, what other visions emerge?
There was simply no place like it, for the feeling of community and for the breadth of exposure to myriad aspects of dance. It was never only a school; it was a cosmos.Twentieth Century. The New Dance Group: Movement for Change, ed. Bernice Rosen. Choreography and Dance, Vol 5, p. 40.
Αt first glance, Feminist Futures Festival seems an idealistic transnational endeavor to propose a renewed model for the supporting the performing arts community and its actors. An effort from the side of the contributed institutions to move beyond the established forms and to boost the idea of structural changes. Indeed, an optimistic or romanticized view is that a feminist framework could potentially bring modifications towards new modes of curating. The apap task force that accompanies the development of the Feminist Business Model and is composed of partners and artists, states that their aim is to “create a place to experiment new practices & ways of thinking, to address social issues, to strengthen the performing art communities based on intersectional feminism.”The quotation from the Feminist Futures Festival’s Strategic Vision Overview internal document. But, remaining skeptical, feminism without the adequate politics and its implementation may be merely a smart label for quick access to funding and support, especially considering the ambition of the Creative Europe Program that supports the FFF and aims at the political priorities of the European Commission for the upcoming years such as gender mainstreaming, gender equality, intersectional research, and empowering women innovators.
Contemporary performing art and its institutions today are eager claiming to act under the guise of social change and of creating art with impact. [wincing] Although sometimes there are sincere intentions behind these initiatives, when powerful institutions are involved in their application this becomes more ambiguous. Again, a romanticized perspective is that this could be momentum for rethinking and unlearning, and this network could become a space of transmitting practices and knowledge. Nevertheless…
…it is important to remain cautious against depoliticizing detournements of feminist agendas into sedatives causing amnesia about the fact that the bitter pill of (in)voluntarily serving capitalism in its different guises is sugared by the sweet promises of inclusion, representation, and power Nanne Buurman, Prison Guard to Healer: Curatorial Subjectivities in the Context of Gendered Economies, in: “On Curating: Instituting Feminism”, issue 52 by Helena Reckitt and Dorothee Richter, … Continue reading
Here, in this context, what exactly the feminist agenda is remains obscured as the feminist business model is still in the development phase. In a sense, the festival functions as its research field. Even so, what could a feminist agenda accompanied by the ambivalent term of business at its core mean? It seems hard [it makes me feel sleezy, like an oily handshake] to find anything of feminist origins in making business as business is one of the basic engines of capitalism. It is targeted at accumulating wealth and power, it focuses on particular interests and single flourishing, competing in the free-market race and obviously winning. [many people are left out of that world of winners, they/we are delegated to the peripheries; I wonder where I stand as an artist] The business perspective neutralizes the politics of a feminist vision. Ok, it may present competitiveness as expanding the feminist community, it may sell business support as sisterhood, and making profit might be renamed here as equal pay, but its feminist individual entrepreneurial subject doesn’t really undermine the conditions which gave them power of inclusion and exclusion over the others. In the context of the Feminist Futures Festival the business-driven vision would probably still need to be based on programming commercially successful theatre and dance pieces. But couldn’t the feminist festivals be also about trials and errors, sharing works in progress to take into account earlier dialogue with the audience, co-thinking and co-participating in the process of creation, maybe even embracing failures, investing in error learning? Maybe they could, but of course it is not an easy process to disrupt the market logic and the existence of artists – even feminist – as alternative products in the fetishization of cultural commodification.
TO STAND STILL TO TUNE IN TO FEEL THE SPACE AROUND ONE’S BELLY TO BREATHE AT LAST TO BREATHE AGAIN THE FRESH MORNING AIR TO FEEL ALIVE TO STEP CAREFULLY TO STEP MINDFULLY TO GREET THE GRASSES TO SOFTEN IN THE SOLAR PLEXUS TO RADIATE TO BE WARM TO BELONG TO ROCK TO LAND TO FEEL THE CARESSING ON THE CHEEK
Recalling our meeting with the representatives of the involved cultural institutions in Lisbon, the pronoun “we” was almost present in every single verbal manifestation. This deploys further thoughts: if there is actually a consensus on whatever is articulated, if it is easier linguistically to enhance the power and the vision of the network or perhaps, if maybe what’s missing is the complex-identity of each person and likewise the particularities of the context from which they come. To acknowledge – among others – their background, position, gender, race, privileges, the geographical location of the institution they represent and the cultural policies that support their labor – seems urgent specifically within this context. This could be a starting point to address possible inequalities among them, to think about what it is important to bring as partners in the network and how they could contribute through their experiences. All these need to be the impulse towards a more substantial development of their – of any – curatorial thinking. FFF could be an encounter to work among (cultural) differences, a space for an intercultural dialogue, a chance to highlight a larger number of disparities, and a pathway to set modes of supporting them.
Yet, hierarchies, unstable (financial) dynamics, power structures or even personal goals and networking cannot easily be avoided when multiple experiences and voices emerge. It’s hard to kill your darlings, but this perhaps had to be the challenge within the frame of FFF. Then, who is included and who is excluded? Who else could be there? Τhe structure of the festival does (up to now) not prove any remarkable differentiation with other performing arts festivals that take place around Europe. It relies on already quite recognizable names that are already part of the institutional regime; it reproduces a competitive production mode that requires at least one new show a year and doesn’t give much time for pause, critical self-reflection let alone a family; it strengthens the poetic instead of embracing practice; while staying (mostly) within the cultural centers of Europe. Questions arise about this feminist agenda: how easily can it embrace more marginalized artistic propositions or structures and where should we look for them; how easy is it to search outside of the box; how could this contribute to a curatorial-care-turn; how, then, to institutionalize otherwise the central idea under the shadow of a well-constructed neoliberal frame. [meeting your eyes] No doubt, it sounds a bit scary to instrumentalize what in someone’s privileged eyes is regarded as marginalized.
TO KILL YOUR DARLINGS TO BE BRAVE TO KILL YOUR DARLINGS TO STAND AMONGST THE RUBBLE, THE TOMBSTONES, THE LANDSCAPE OF WASTE TO SALVAGE WHAT’S DEAR TO YOU TO SHARE WHAT’S DEAR TO YOU TO HOLD EVERYTHING DEAR TO CUT THE BULLSHIT TO OPEN ONE’S EYES TO SEE TO LOOK AROUND TO SEE TO WASH OFF CYNICISM TO SHAKE OFF HOSTILITY TO GIVE AWAY WHAT YOU DON’T NEED
I am lately thinking a lot about the critical self-reflection that is fundamental in my view to engaging with feminisms today. A lot of social critique was formulated throughout the decades of feminisms’ development but many of those became obsolete and swallowed by the logic of neoliberal capitalism. Such devouring can be observed when the aspiration to freedom and justice are replaced with phantoms of agency and society – for example, when feminism becomes trendy, when inclusion is put on the banners but not practiced, when everything is a matter of selling and buying, when some women can autonomously make decisions about their bodies and for some of them it is done by the state, when violence is not named and the harm not repaired [and when fight for equality is transformed into so called femvertising trend, and when girl empowerment slogans seduce to buy particular hygienic products that not each girl can afford, and when the witchcraft is being commodified on such scale, and when using vulnerable groups in irrelevant contexts to boost the context’s attractiveness, and…]. If we live in a world that has been shaped for centuries and on the global scale by patriarchal ideology of thriving of the strong on top and by the virtue of exploitation of the weak, we must see how such mindset and behavioral motivations and patterns are ultimately dictating how most of us live and die. Long term success of such ultimately political phenomena as patriarchy which is, to put it simply, a multidimensional and omnipresent system of oppression – is due to its ability to morph and reinvent itself, for the mechanisms that impede our lives were at work long before the invention of capitalism as such, with all forms of slave-master, feudal, colonial systems that lead to establishment of what we call modernity. Neoliberal capitalism could be seen as a psychopathic son of the patriarchal Father – it understands no love, no compassion, no sharing. And there! there exactly! – the intersectional feminism – as described and practiced by women around the world for centuries, there it comes to propose the ways of undoing and relearning. It grows from the experience of living in the world of multiple relations and interdependencies that transgress the logic of the capital.
In her text “Scratching the Surface: Some Notes on Barriers to Women and Loving” Audre Lorde enlisted several ailments of humanity – racism, sexism, heterosexualism, homophobia – as being rooted in a form of blindness and spawned by
an inability to recognize the notion of difference as a dynamic human force, one which is enriching rather than threatening to the defined self, when there are shared goals. Audrey Lorde, Scratching the Surface: Some Notes on Barriers to Women and Loving, in: Your Silence will not protect you, Silver Press, 2017, p. 12.
Under late capitalist rule the difference can be celebrated as long as it produces revenues and leads to accumulation of capital, be it financial, social or political. Within such a paradigm empowerment becomes a prize for woke self-entrepreneurs, the boundaries of class, race or gender are reinforced and reinvented. How to subvert such a machine of the neoliberal self-reproduction? Love is perhaps the answer. It may not come easy in a world struck with pain and anxiety, yet love and sisterhood understood as principles of living and relating (with those alike and different than us) allow us to still hope for the falling of the Father and his sons, though… we need to give them a push. It may be simple at first – a shift in how we see the other, how we recognize which act of speaking is silencing and which one is a daring act. It may seem both overwhelming and hopeful to still question the basics of one’s power and agency and seek answers not only in what is given at an instance to us but in what asks us for life-long engagement, a lifelong practice. Perhaps feminism-ing is both about gaining power and giving up power, depending on where one is standing and with what socio-economic and symbolic capital one is engaging with feminism in the first place. As many authors pointed out in the past – violence against women, their bodies, lives and dignities goes hand in hand with violence against the weak and fragile, or those who do not respond with physical or military power – children, elderly or more-than-human nature at large.
That’s what I mean when talking about ambiguity of power within the broad frame of feminisms – how it is distributed and how equality could be achieved when those who have more to give are ready to do so and those endlessly exploited are finally on the receiving part of the spectrum, they become empowered, recognized, and supported in their struggles and joys. [what becomes possible in the world ruled by feminisms and what is no longer possible?]
When I decided to gravitate to the periphery […], I did so to enact a politics of yielding space; being smaller became a pleasurable corollary to being big. Micah E. Salkind, Do you remember house? Chicago’s Queer of Color Undergrounds, Oxford University Press 2019, p. 227
What disturbed me the most during our visit at the Amiens-Lisbon festival was The SK Concert Although we attented more performances that could be further analysed, we consciously focus on The SK Concert because our gaze as audience identified several ambiguities related to our focal point, … Continue reading concert-performance by apap supported artist Naomi Velissariou in collaboration with Joos Maaskant under a band name Permanent Destruction, which was the last show we saw together in Lisbon. She deals there with self-destruction, pain of physical and emotional nature, sexism, misogyny and rape among others, and deeps them in the acid entertainment sauce. Each issue is one song, one musical genre, and one sort of stage presence or attitude. One of the issues that seemed especially difficult to digest in the popcultural limbo of fun and despair was from the number starting with Maaskant’s question to Velissariou about permission to be sexually assaulted. What followed was the song in which the phrase “rape me till I come” was endlessly repeated in order to… in order to do what exactly? To comment on the culture of consent? To legitimize the rape fantasy – if yes, whose fantasy and under which conditions? To break the taboo for the audience sitting in the imperial space of the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II and watching contemporary performance art? If so, let’s not forget that controlled shock-dosing is an old yet potent strategy to sell seemingly radical art as a still desirable cultural product, and under such circumstances the taboo breaking can easily slip into paternalizing.
For some women sitting in the audience (myself included) this might have felt or actually did feel sickening – to be in the space where sexual assault is brought up in a manner that is emptied of care, that is rather re-traumatizing than empowering [from between fight-flight-freeze responses I involunatarily chose freeze and it was not empowering at all]. It is important to mention that even with that somewhat shocking framing of rape, not much was done to raise any question in regards to the sexual culture we inhabit. Around the world many brave individuals, organisations and support groups try not only to deal with victim-shaming when it comes to sexual assaults and drastically low conviction rates for rapists, but the fight is on for recognizing rape as a war weapon and protecting women and children in the conflict zones. All this while popular culture and huge part of Western arts history is infused with, if not entirely based in, the rape culture, presenting women as trophies, subordinates and victims.
I still want to believe that Velissariou does all of this because she believes she can build awareness of how these traumas are swallowed by the market nowadays, but it seems to me that while criticizing autotuning of pain in contemporary culture, what she did was just another autotune.
I perceived it as an artistic refusal when it comes to critical self-reflection, and furthermore, the instrumentalization of the pain of others for the sake of personal gain of the powerful – by that I mean a white European woman educated and supported by the Western neoliberal art institutions. Her self-projection obscured and/or trivialized the struggles of women in the audience and in society at large, transforming their pain into an empty slogan for the sake of self-promotion and the selling of garments. [the same day she was performing in Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, a huge wave of protests and tears swept through the Polish cities after a woman was not provided with a life-rescuing abortion due to the recent tightening of the abortion law. And that moment of ridiculing the problem of abortion rights from the stage in the frame of FFF became ridiculous by itself.]
It would sell even depression, eating disorders and abortion – which Velissariou actually flaunts in her performance like advertising slogans. [shivering] I can’t even remember if feminism was one of them. But it could have been. It functions there like a slippery, glossy catchphrase. And realizing it brings this irresistible feeling that nor feminism neither feminist futures- however we define it -should be one of them.
I wish for a shift in building of relations between the living beings – the movement based on tenderness and kindness, while escaping the naivety and forced consensus. And I would see it as a direct consequence of the critical self-reflection of the privileged [so when being a white, already established living performer and using in a piece the Sarah Kane’s iconic monologue word for word shortly after having mocked depression, maybe it’s not enough just to mention being inspired by her?]. It implies a different way of looking, seeing, touching, or speaking – it cherishes and recognizes the fragility and strength of those who live in fear, with trauma, with a sense of humiliation and despair and it sometimes just forces us into silence so we can hear the voice of others, those who are not heard, those who cannot speak or need time to find words and ways of articulating.
How to think and speak feminism in an intergenerational and intersectional way – embracing the struggles of our grandmothers and mothers, and empower them through our actions and choices? And how our lineages can be expanded or constructed anew, how to build solidarity with those who we do not know?
TO EXORCIZE THE CAPITALIST WITHIN TO DO IT STEP BY STEP TO DO IT EVERYDAY TO ACCEPT THAT SOCIAL CHANGE REQUIRES INNER CHANGE
[My feminism is an act of sabotage – the tower not struck by lightning but rather pulled down from below, by us. I see the monolithic architecture of Maison de la Culture in Amiens and the plush red and gold interior in Lisbon’s Teatro Nacional D. Maria II. I wonder if we really want this tower to fall. To manifest a festival that disrupts patriarchal capitalism means being traitors to the institutions that support it – we cannot gain the kudos of a job well done if we are on strike.]
TO TOPPLE THE OLD BASTARDS TO STOP ERECTING TO BEGIN REPAIRING
[Let’s assume that the function of the festival is not to sell the products of “feminist art” but rather to manifest a space in which to hold a community. Let’s then allow our structures reflect this imagination. Let’s ask questions about our collective needs, desires, and lusts. Let’s shelter each other, care for each other and let’s dream together.]
Feminist Futures as well as feminist futures are plural. [yes!] They assume multiplicity of perspectives, experiences, and visions. They expand the collective subject and dissolve its borders so that they might be redrawn and ready for more perspectives, experiences, and visions to come, to be present and represented.
I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for,
just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else.
If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.
This is not just a grab-bag candy game’Toni Morrison, The Art of Fiction No. 134. See: https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1888/the-art-of-fiction-no-134-toni-morrison (last accessed: 3.05.2022)
[At a different festival I wonder if I should attend the “Distribution and sales in the cultural ecosystem” workshop. I don’t want to reproduce neoliberalism in my own work, but I also think I could benefit from a leg up in the competitive world of freelancing in the dance scene – I want to be successful after all. And anyway, fuck it I’m trying to explore the scene in Porto so shouldn’t I also get to know the dirtier, murkier sides of working here as well?]
[I keep coming back to questions of strategy and tactics. We need to survive; we need the contemporary dance scene to survive; we need feminism to survive. Yet if we reproduce the structures that oppress us we remain oppressed. I don’t need to be a successful artist to survive. I am just reproducing the neoliberal principles to benefit from the system already in place. I don’t go to the seminar.]
[If you are working the system, the system is working you.]
[Maybe FFF doesn’t need a business model to survive. Maybe it’s the dance world, who needs an FFF brave enough to reject the forms of capitalism and patriarchy as much as the content; maybe FFF could be a shelter in which we could take refuge from the constant pressure to consume, produce, buy, sell, own.]
TO BE ABLE TO EAT TO BE ABLE TO SLEEP TO REMEMBER TO REST TO ENJOY IT TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS
This tension between autonomy and dependency, between care and capital, seems fundamental not just for a feminist critique of capitalism but for our debate about feminisms today in general. What is the significance of sociality for an economic organization that is based on the maximization of individual benefit – is there any at all? How does the optimization of individual benefit which forms the core of any business relate to solidarity? Who bears the consequential costs in an economic system that fundamentally ignores bonding and responsibility as a prerequisite for sociality – for the health and well-being of people, for the state of our ecosystem – while relegating it to the realm of the non-economic? So maybe when asking the question about how capitalism constitutes patriarchal oppression, we should add: how is this very much interlinked with the reproduction sphere? And thinking from this perspective, how can we still take into consideration a feminist business model? Doesn’t this idea exactly confirm Nancy Fraser’s analysis of the absorption of feminism into the depths of capitalist accumulation?
A movement that once prioritised social solidarity now celebrates female entrepreneurs.
A perspective that once valorised ‘care’ and interdependence now encourages individual advancement and meritocracy.Nancy Fraser, How feminism became capitalism’s handmaiden – and how to reclaim it…
There is no question that the neoliberal appropriations of feminist critique have so far been insufficiently reflected. And as much as I agree on the fundamental conflict of feminism and business, I would like to suggest shifting the conversation back to thinking about a possible feminist art institution within the performing arts field – their mechanisms of power, strategies of producing and the artistic practices that might emerge from those institutions. Because, hey no surprise, obviously arts and their institutions do not operate outside of the capitalist system. Quite the opposite, they are very much entangled with the economic-political system we all move in – and the decision to think about a Feminist Business Model within the performing art just proves that point even more.
But instead of resignation – how to raise political awareness of the margins? How to consider – and eventually enter – institutions from the margins? [looking at you] How to take the matter into our own hands? As part of the FFF a so-called Feminist School is offered, to share practices and knowledge among partners, artists, and audiences, focusing on mutual learning instead of frontal teaching (or frontal performing). Because, whereas theaters are still governed by a production-oriented agenda, a school or research environment might offer a context for a longer period of (self-)investigation and (self-)reflection – a format which might be worth to further think about in the context of imagining a feminist institution that contains multitude.
TO KNOW YOUR LIMITS TO DARE TO BEND TO SHUFFLE AROUND TO WALK TO WANDER TO COME CLOSER TO COME CLOSER TO COME CLOSER
This text started with questions, this mode of doubt, analysis, unsureness, constant instability of thoughts and ideas, this uneven and shifting ground. Some of the questions that constantly loop through my mind circle around the notion of accountability within the project or more specifically, its connection to the commodification of feminism, sketched by Fraser. At one point in our conversation with some of the members of the Feminist Business Model task force, it was mentioned that partners are free to increment some of the suggested procedures and modes of working but not obliged, not committed. There does not seem to be a mechanism which checks or even delegates some responsibility beyond research and formation of the proposed business model – which empties its purposefulness.
TO COME CLOSER
This emptiness of ideas reminds me of Sara Ahmed’s essay “How not to do things with words”, in which she discusses the implementation of diversity policies within institutions. To me, the framework of Feminist Futures is an institution. Moreover, the Feminist Business Model suggests that only slight change will happen, nothing jaw dropping, but closer to what Ahmed describes as institutions reproducing themselves when they appear not to be. [“We work on a model, not on a rebellion”. I remember how these words said by one of the task force’s members during the debate about the Feminist Business Model struck me and how they cooled the mobilizing drift down] [I think about how in the case of FFF, this new business model denotes a structure with which to integrate artistic content with the organising framework of European patriarchal capitalism. I think about how patriarchy and capitalism are themselves just structures and then I can’t help but think this business model is just patriarchal capitalism on a smaller scale. I am sad and angry that we are reproducing the same systems of oppression in our little world of movement and bodies]
TO COME CLOSER
“The heart of this Feminist Futures project or/and Feminist Business model is the vision”. Something of this sort was also stated in one of the meetings with the task force. But how does the vision, which is a motion pointing towards the future (feminist futures?), exceed two procedures which mask themselves as change but are actually only producing constant motion at the same point? Ahmed writes that “even when nothing changes, a lot of work is going on” Sara Ahmed, How Not to Do Things with Words, in: “Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies”, 2016, vol. 16, p. 5.. Does one feel better if they are moving about, chirping away at change even if it is not systemic/radical? Does doing nothing make us morecomplicit?
TO COME CLOSER
Imagine this: a supermarket, one of the big ones, with shelves full of produce and products imported both from the land that surrounds you as well as from those far away. Each shopping trip is a journey itself; you often start with a list, it might even be a recipe (a vision), for which every ingredient must be present in order for it to work. But if you come and only pick, for example, flour and sugar but not the eggs and milk, the outcome will be drastically different. What I am trying to say with this awful and far-stretching metaphor, is that the feminist business model is a bit like this supermarket and various organisations are like us, the buyers. [looking into your eyes] [who is like the product in this case?] A project built on a vision of feminism but with almost no accountability for carrying out the model where partners can pick what they want to try out and how to do it is like shopping. It completely overlooks the complexity of interrelations which are at work in a vision.
[I ask myself what our vision of feminist futures is. What do we see? Surely not the same forms and structures reproduced with a new coat of paint. Surely something else, something changed. Then my question is which festival will facilitate these specific feminisms emerging?]
Can the performing arts festival and school be a place where everyone feels welcome? Probably not. Everyone is a myth and a shadow, a utopian promise of art for all. But – as utopia – it shall also not be dismissed, for it provides a horizon for our future, and present, endeavors. To see beyond what we were told is possible, to see beyond the mere facades of justice and community that were given to us by our masters, we must dismantle their house. For that we must find our own tools, as Audrey Lorde wrote Survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to … Continue reading. And we must persist until we arrive where we belong together.
TO FIND A VOICE TO HEAR OTHERS TO CONVERSE TO TUNE INTO DISHARMONIES
Feminism is a political project about what could be. It’s always looking forward, invested in futures we can’t quite grasp yet. It’s a way of wishing, hoping, aiming at everything that has been deemed impossible. It’s a task that has to be approached seriously – we must think about the limits of this world and the possibilities contained in the ones we could craft together. Lola Olufemi, Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power, Pluto Press, 2020, p. 1.
I remember that during the panel in Amiens about the Feminist Business Model, I thought a lot about economy as a structure of exchange and creation of social bonds and dependencies that do not necessarily involve money and see other virtues as currencies that seem worthy of passing around, enjoying, giving, and receiving. These could be funded in the caring, thoughtful acquiring, distributing, and consuming of resources, be those human or more-than-human. Cohabitation and cocreation without exploitation and exhaustion, with respect to the limits of the living, hopefully awaiting the renewal, planetary regeneration for all. This sounds like mythical sustainability to me. Aspiring to equality and sisterhood on a planetary scale? So, no economy as such in the end either, at least, please no more business and entrepreneurship.
Can they dissolve or be transformed while the intentions, energies, and actions, instead of investment, capital and revenues, are redirected toward a sort of communisms? Communist Futures would be on the one hand a hard sell for the neoliberal art market and on the other hand it provides a name for a vision of a world never accomplished, a utopia that is yet to be seen when feminist, antimperialist, decolonial and queer perspectives and struggles can find a place to grow and to bear fruit – a garden of resistance and of communion – a Future Community of the International Love. In one of her letters from Moscow 1921-27 Isadora Duncan wrote: Relegated to the past is the old ideal of youth, with its limited prize of monogamistic love and its narrow ideal of family life as the … Continue reading
This text was conceived in the process of collective writing as part of the Critical Practice (Made in Yu) program in spring 2022. Written by (in alphabetical order): Anka Herbut, Elena Novakovits, Kasia Wolińska, Jette Büchsenschütz, Maeve Johnson, Maša Radi Buh. Mentored by Ana Vujanović.
|↑1||Nancy Fraser, How feminism became capitalism’s handmaiden – and how to reclaim it, “The Guardian”, 14 Oct 2013. See: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/14/feminism-capitalist-handmaiden-neoliberal (last accessed: 2.05.2022)|
|↑2||Twentieth Century. The New Dance Group: Movement for Change, ed. Bernice Rosen. Choreography and Dance, Vol 5, p. 40.|
|↑3||The quotation from the Feminist Futures Festival’s Strategic Vision Overview internal document.|
|↑4||Nanne Buurman, Prison Guard to Healer: Curatorial Subjectivities in the Context of Gendered Economies, in: “On Curating: Instituting Feminism”, issue 52 by Helena Reckitt and Dorothee Richter, year 2021, p. 31. See https://www.on-curating.org/issues.html (last accessed: 3.05.2022)|
|↑5||Audrey Lorde, Scratching the Surface: Some Notes on Barriers to Women and Loving, in: Your Silence will not protect you, Silver Press, 2017, p. 12.|
|↑6||Micah E. Salkind, Do you remember house? Chicago’s Queer of Color Undergrounds, Oxford University Press 2019, p. 227|
|↑7||Although we attented more performances that could be further analysed, we consciously focus on The SK Concert because our gaze as audience identified several ambiguities related to our focal point, along with contradictions regarding the vision of what is a feminist future.|
|↑8||Toni Morrison, The Art of Fiction No. 134. See: https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1888/the-art-of-fiction-no-134-toni-morrison (last accessed: 3.05.2022)|
|↑9||Nancy Fraser, How feminism became capitalism’s handmaiden – and how to reclaim it…|
|↑10||Sara Ahmed, How Not to Do Things with Words, in: “Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies”, 2016, vol. 16, p. 5.|
|↑11||Survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. See: Audrey Lorde, The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, 1984, in: Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Ed. Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press 2007, pp. 178-179.|
|↑12||Lola Olufemi, Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power, Pluto Press, 2020, p. 1.|
|↑13||In one of her letters from Moscow 1921-27 Isadora Duncan wrote: Relegated to the past is the old ideal of youth, with its limited prize of monogamistic love and its narrow ideal of family life as the goal of existence. The future love will be not “my family” but “all humanity”, not “my children” but “all children”, not “my country” but “all peoples”. I salute the birth of the future community of International Love. See: Isadora Duncan, The Art of the Dance, 1928, p.109.|