Our event for International Women’s Day went off without a hitch! From early morning, the mood was joyous and jittery, a spirit of celebration which accompanied us throughout the day and into the night.
Months in the making, this event was envisioned to bring awareness to and offer new perspectives on feminism and womanhood through short films and other visual media. With two screenings of a set of three short films we strove to weave a narrative about the neglected toil of women from across the world, and how we may find strength in and through the filmic medium.
Together, Le Clitoris by Lori Malépart-Traversy (2017: 3’16), and Four beauties by Thaïs Johanna Odermatt (2017: 5’05) play with notions of the unseen and the unknown, to reveal the interconnection between ignorance and violence on women’s bodies. These films were directly followed by, or rather juxtaposed with, Klaartje Til’s Coco Cabasa (2016: 53’), a film which revels in dance, locates unbounded strength in womanhood, and powerfully speaks up against male dominance and female oppression.
Our own short film, The Feminist Next Door, played on a loop in the upstairs gallery. There was something deeply powerful about the intimacy and inescapability of this space, and the way in which it implicates the viewer into action. By allowing all these films to speak to each other and inspire and encourage our visitors, the conversation naturally strayed to more intersectional concerns dealing with, among other things, race and sexuality.
This conversation beautifully tied in with the workshop given by LU pride earlier in the day. The intersectional approach of this dialogue allowed for a diverse group of people to find unity in their shared hardships, but it also served to reveal the growing fissures in the contemporary queer and feminist debate. Regardless of the vexing issues which were brought up, we all left this dialogue feeling less like visitors, but more as equal participants, reassured of the strength of our common resistance against the patriarchy.
By establishing a safe and equitable space between volunteers, visitors, friends and family, the stories told and the conversations held at Old School were anything but old, but rather charged with a profound disenchantment with the current state of affairs and filled with an unwavering hope for the feminist future. Not only did this event offer an inspiring outlook onto the future of feminism, but it also gave us an intriguing taste of what is to come in May.
We really look forward to keep this conversation going into the Short Film Experience, where we will have exciting new programming and riveting talks from an even wider range of voices.
Join us then!