On April 10th -11th 2010, Lilla went to the feminist conference, F at the NSW Teachers Federation. It was the first feminist conference in over 10 years, was open to all genders, and was an amazing opportunity for Lilla people to form connections, organise, participate and learn a whole lot!
The conference was structured around 4 panels: Indigenous Women’s Knowledge, Why is Feminism Relevant?, Power, and Feminist Futures. It also featured over 24 workshops and mini-panels on topics such as Introduction to People of Colour Politics, Veiling, a Women of Colour Story Sharing Workshop, Feminism in Indonesia: How Women Struggle in a Third World Country, and Female Genital Mutilation. Yes it was a packed, vibrant, and sometimes challenging weekend!
Aspects of the conference moved away from tackling oppressions on their own, i.e. sexism was inseparable from racism and colonialism, homophobia, ablism and transphobia. Moreover the following speakers also reinforced the importance of recognising the intersections of these oppressions.
- Filmmaker Darlene Johnson and writer, lawyer and professor Larissa Behrendt spoke on the Indigenous Women’s Knowledge and Feminist Futures panels respectively and about different topics. What stood out from both women’s speeches were the importance of the Indigenous cultural values of listening, respect and reciprocity, and of cultures to Indigenous peoples. Larissa mentioned that while there is women’s and men’s business, neither is prioritised over the other in Indigenous cultures.
- Larissa advised participants to educate themselves about the Northern Territory Intervention through reading the STICS website and searching for the relevant articles on Crikey.
- Liliane Lukoki spoke about the situation for women in Congo.
- Feminist blogger, Chally, talked about the importance of intersectionality for feminism and how it relates to the oppression of people with disabilities, and to sexism and other oppressions.
- One of the most powerful series of moments came from Elena Jeffreys who spoke on the rights of sex workers within an environment of discrimination and sometimes criminalisation. The speech can be found here.
- Writer and performer Candy Bowers from Sydney’s west spoke about how race, class and gender matter in the performance world, and with pride about Campbelltown.
While the bigger panels encouraged a sort of one way learning, the questions to the panelists and the open spaces workshops on a whole range of topics from ageing to veganism, enabled a more equal connection with other participants.
After an action packed conference weekend and from woman-ing a Lilla stall, our vision for Lilla was reinforced. Lilla will learn from amazing women’s groups, and we will facilitate myriad connections between these groups. A bit like F.
The Lilla network will be publicly launched with an exhibition of work by artists who came together for a workshop on International Women’s Day this year. It is an opportunity for anyone with a passion for social justice to hear women’s stories and bear witness to empowering ommunity action in Sydney and around the world.
Works will include photography, digital media, installation, performance, object, sculpture and spoken word. Aboriginal educator & wordsmith Lillian Holt and community artist & activist Paula Abood will be joining in the conversation. The Stiff Gins will be performing in the evening.
Join us for an open mic night on Wednesday 11th November.
Celine spent time at the Casa de Apoyo a al Mujer which translates as support house for women. The ‘Casa’ works mainly in 2 areas: health, which involves consultations by a doctor and sexual health promotion in communities; and support for women’s groups in communities such as micro-credit projects and a community garden.
More on the Women of Comalpa, a communique she worked with
Lilla is holding a public exhibition of art works by women who came together on International Women’s Day 09 to explore their passion for social justice through creative expression. Over a weekend in the Blue Mountains, the artists were mentored in their practice of the spoken word, digital media, Aboriginal dot painting, cartooning and performance by practising artists, whilst sharing their experiences with each other.
Connections were formed between the women, whose stories intersected and spawned collaborations and new ideas. The works will be developed over the coming months and exhibited at Mori Gallery Sydney from the 8th to the 15th November, 2009. The exhibtion will coincide with the launch of the Lilla network. Currently we are seeking volunteers Read more…
As part of our project to compile a directory of pro-women’s organisations operating in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, the Lilla Network presents the questionnaire which will need to be filled in by the organisations which wish to participate.
This document is a faithful translation of the Spanish-language document, designed to be accessible to indigenous, campesino and community groups. It includes instructions, a publishing authorisation and the questionnaire itself.
To download the version designed to complete electronically and submit via email (Word file, 6 pages), click here.
To download the version designed to be filled in by hand and posted or hand delivered (PDF file, 9 pages), click here.
The deadline to hand in the completed questionnaire is Sunday 15 March, 2009.
If you have any questions on the questionnaire’s format or the means of submitting the completed questionnaire, contact the directory coordinator, Jodie Lea Martire, via the contact form.
The Lilla: International Women’s Network has launched a new pilot project in the Mexican state of Chiapas. The Network hopes to extend its international network to the grassroots movements and social organisations which conduct work in favour of the women of Chiapas, thus permitting connections with Lilla’s contacts in Australia and India.
To begin our work in Chiapas, the Lilla Network is initiating two projects. The first is to connect Australian women to organisations in Chiapas working at the grass roots in pursuit of social justice for women. This will take the form of a three-month internship during the first months of 2009, with the possibility of opening a second round of internships later on in the year. Both the organisations and the interns will be supported by a coordinator, who will be based in Chiapas for the duration of the internship.
The second project will be the research and compilation of a directory of organisations located in Chiapas which work in favour of women’s rights. The objective of the directory is to offer a resource to the organisations of Chiapas and other national and internatioal organisations which are interested in the struggle for women’s rights in the south of Mexico. We plan to include the largest possible number of organisations, including feminist, religious and autonomous organisation; campesino, indigenous and urban movements, campaigns against the trafficking of people and violence against women; groups of women, groups of men with an understanding of gender, mixed groups, etc. These are only a few examples. The final document will be published in a print edition in Spanish, to be distributed to the organisations which appear in the directory, and it will also be distributed in electronic format en Spanish and English.
If you or your organisation wish to know more about the new projects of the International Women’s Network in Chiapas, or would like to participate in the internship of the directory, please get in touch with the researcher in Chiapas, Jodie Lea Martire, using the contact form.