Collaboration with femLENS
building up HER┊visual┊STORY
A common goal: building online to empower offline –Collaboration with femLENS
F.i.g.a. IS NOW femLENS AMBASSADOR IN LONDON
femLENS teaches documentary photography to women from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds promoting the participation of women in leadership in society, community, and specifically within media and arts.
This intention matches F.i.g.a.’s aims since we both work to give women tools to represent themselves and support the right to self-determination using cultural tools to take a direct part in the global discourse.
Providing access to education to women from communities with limited resources to diversify the media and arts: HUMAN RIGHTS
The educational efforts aim to reach women in communities with limited resources to improve their access to education taking into account the significant social, cultural, economic, and structural obstacles.
We have already extensively discussed the positive effects on the education of girls (of women in general) and how access to education has historically given women the tools to self-determine and react to patriarchy. In a historical moment in which our life is dominated by new technologies, it is unthinkable to leave the patriarchal system with such a powerful tool to shape our choices and our desires. If it is true that the internet and digitalization are funnels for misogyny and facilitate the system to exploitation (workers forced to work remotely while looking after the house, without anyone having raised the problem of the right to go offline), feeding on the objectification of the feminine, it is also true that it would not be the first time that women in struggle take up cultural tools to claim and conquer spaces and representations. If we assume that visual literacy pairs with the ability to use technology, we need to consider inequalities in access to technology, especially mobile devices and the Internet. Currently, 59% of the world’s population has access to the internet and 45% has access to a smartphone. Not surprisingly, there are significant disparities in these figures between developed and developing countries. As we continue to engage in a complex society, which gathers (now also due to covid) mainly in the Internet arena, it is important to understand who is actually present and/or represented in the conversation and how.
Platforms like Freeda are trivializing the very concept of feminist struggle and have made it a product to tell, reaching the masses, liberal feminism that aims to find a place for women within the current system instead of aiming for a radical change: it is, in fact, a project of a commercial and financial holding linked to the Berlusconi family and to Fininvest which presents am edulcorated feminism that is never controversial and cuddly reassuring. This online business model strongly undermines feminist struggles as well as capturing an audience considered impregnable – the famous millennials, women aged 18 to 35 – by intercepting their interest in feminism and their trust in social media as a democratic means through which to exercise power. their freedom of thought and speech, with the specific purpose of collecting an exceptional number of profiles, that is of data, and of offering them to potential business partners and the big data market. Yet they profess to be useful to young women. A beautiful and good mockery that accommodates false feminism in the mesh of capitalist ptriarchy. We need to be able to defend ourselves against these frontal attacks and fight back.
As FemLENS ambassador in London, starting from the 25th of November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, I am co-curating and co-organising the 4-day-long online festival HER┊visual┊STORY
The name openly refers to the Herstory movement started by Alice Wroe back in 2014. The festival will critically explore the main theme Spaces and Representation also diving into digital equality and visual literacy.
To challenge the whole current situation we decided to build up a program to bring together women from different levels of the photo industry, activists, communities, and everyday women and girls.
There will be a variety to free downloadable material, learning talks, A&Q, a virtual exhibition, free workshops, and much more.
There is a lot already going on but we are still open to your contribution.
For proposals, info on how to host a satellite event, or if you want to volunteer drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a line on one of my IG Alys.thewitch or Alysvisualart.
Why is this collaboration is so important?
This is not only a festival but a call to action. This is an act of re-appropriation and revendication of our own visual culture production, ethic, and aesthetics: we do not only challenge the class-based issues based on a one-way-privileged western white narration, but also the underrepresentation of women and girls.
I already raised the problem of documenting and representing migrant women in my research SOMW018 and I found in femLENS a valid ally to pursue my artivist collaborative practice.
If you want to support my work and my effort, please donate using Ko-fi at the cost of a cofee [kofi]