Festival ArtFemine 10
As in previous years, the summer activities of the Center for Girls revived feminist art and activism in Niš, and bring new energy. We organized the jubilee 10th ArtFemine Fesstival, the 9th Feminist Art Colony, organized a street action on abortion, participated in the workshop ,,Get started, move and apply“, became part of the Working Group for the development of a new planning document in the field of combating human trafficking, opened a Children Daycare Center and held training for volunteers of the Day Center for Children, and much more. You can read more details below.
Center for girls held 10th ArtFemine festival and celebrated 25 years of work
Over 60 people attended the 10th anniversary ArtFemine Festival of Feminist Art and Activism, organized by the Center for Girls on July 1-7, 2023.
On the first day of the festival, the art and psychology workshop "What She Says" by sculptor Tamara Z. was held. Ten participants of the workshop reflected on their emotions and their identity, and then each created conceptual jewelry inspired by the inner world of another participant. In the evening, the premiere of the film about the Center for Girls was shown in the Art55 Gallery and a publication about the organization's 25 years of existence and work was promoted. The film was shot by Boban R., and he and Tatjana N. worked tirelessly together to merge the recorded material into a whole. Tatjana N. and Sara P. spoke about the publication, and Jelena V., Jana T., Mina Z. and Milica Z. read their texts from the publication, which was graphically edited by Sanja S. The evening continued with the opening of the exhibition of works created at the 8th Feminist Art Colony, entitled "That Road We Walk". At the opening, artist and collaborator Sanja S. and artists who participated in last year's colony, Jelena P. and Tamara Z., spoke. They talked about what the Feminist Art Colony means for them and for the art scene in Serbia and how their participation in the colony affected their professional and personal development. The evening ended with socializing, hugs and an exchange of positive energy.
On the second day of the festival, the art and psychology workshop "Self-portrait to self-therapy" by Jovana . was held. Twelve participants had the opportunity to explore themselves, their emotions, needs and desires and to express themselves through the collage technique. The participants first thought about what they wanted to say with their works, then they created collages, and later they commented and explained their works. In the evening, a lecture on gender-sensitive language, "Why we got rid of gender", was held by Professor Svetlana T. The audience had the opportunity to hear more about the history of gender in the Serbian language and the history of the struggle to introduce gender-sensitive language into the norm, laws that prescribe the use of gender-sensitive language and anti-gender currents in the Serbian public and the scientific community, as well as why they are harmful to the science of language and the position of women in society. This was followed by the promotion of the book "Talking About Blocks" by writer Jelena N.R. The interview with the author was conducted by Sanja S. The audience had the opportunity to hear the recommendations of two of the author's friends, and then talk with the writer about the inspiration for the creation of the book, the structure of the work and the characters in the work, and what writing this book meant to her.
On the third day, the promotion of the digital platform Women's Museum was held, which is a project of the Union of Feminist Organizations (Re)connection and part of the international network of women's museums IAWM. The platform was presented by the philosopher Silvia D. The audience had the opportunity to learn about the concept of a women's museum, the way of collecting materials for a women's museum and the importance of such a platform for increasing the visibility of women in the history of science and art.
On the fourth day, the promotion of Biljana K. book, "Breast Circle" was held. The interview with the writer was conducted by Sara P. The audience had the opportunity to learn more about the author's inspiration for writing stories, to learn about the author's views on self-censorship and queer literature.
On the fifth day of the festival, the "Water on fire" workshop was planned, but due to bad weather conditions, it was postponed until the day after the end of the festival. This workshop was an opportunity for the participants to connect with nature and with their creative side. The participants got rid of stress with the help of their creativity. The workshop was led by Maja D, a psychologist and psychotherapist. She is a certified transactional analyst and practitioner of play therapy.
On the sixth day of the jubilee ArtFemine festival, a concert was held by the musician Anita Š. from Mostar. The citizens of Niš had the opportunity to get to know Anita's music, but also to hear some already well-known songs by other performers from the former Yugoslavia.
On the seventh day of the jubilee ArtFemine festival, the literary performance "Good morning, jazz girls" by Jasna J. was held. The citizens of Niš had the opportunity to get acquainted with Jasna's research and artistic work on contemporary and jazz music with an emphasis on gender and interactive strategies of improvisation in jazz. At the end of the literary performance, we had the opportunity to once again hear the musician Anita Š, who performed the previous evening. The evening continued with the performance-lecture "In the arms of the forgotten" by Maja M.
The festival passed with a lot of hugs, laughter, socializing and positive energy.
The ArtFemine festival was supported by OAK and the Trag Foundation and the Global Fund for Women.
The 9th Feminist Art Colony
The 9th Feminist Art Colony was successfully held in Sicevo. Eight artists participated in the colony: Tamara K. (Novi Sad), Jelena C. (Trstenik), Vanja B. (Cacak), Marija J. (Belgrade), Sanja S. (Belgrade), Marija M. (Belgrade), Anelija R. (Raška), Isidora M. (Belgrade).
Upon arrival in Niš, after the traditional photo shoot in front of the monument to Nadezda P., the artists settled in a hostel in Sicevo.
On the first day of the colony, the artists had the opportunity to get to know the Center for Girls, as well as each other. The artists watched a film about the Center for Girls and received materials for work at the colony, as well as a publication created on the occasion of the organization's 25 years of work. On the same day, a part of the play "I am an emotional being" was performed in front of the artists, which talks about violence against girls and women, human trafficking, women's human rights and the experiences of girls from all over the world.
On the second, third and fourth day of the colony, the female artists participated in a self-defense workshop led by Tatjana N. At the workshop, they learned five principles of self-defense, a communication formula, how to say no clearly and loudly and set boundaries, be assertive, recognize a violent situation, be aware of your surroundings, defend yourself from verbal and physical attack, run away and seek help. In addition, they learned three punches and five physical self-defense techniques. After the workshops, they had free time, which they could spend creating, socializing, exchanging experiences and resting in the natural surroundings of the Sicevo Gorge.
On the fifth day, female artists participated in a workshop on gender-sensitive language, held by Sara P. They learned why it is important to use gender-sensitive language when talking about themselves and other women, and how to use it. They had the opportunity to break down some of the preconceptions about gender-sensitive language and give their comments regarding its use and importance. Later in the day, there was a celebration of the colony's 9th birthday, as well as the birthday of one of the participants. We blew out the candle, made wishes and enjoyed the cake and the company.
On the sixth day, the colonies of female artists continued to create works of art using a wide variety of techniques - painting, graphics, drawing. In the evening, they had the opportunity to see the performance-lecture "In the arms of the forgotten", performed by actress Maja Mitic. The play talks about important women of the Balkans and the female roles played by Maja Mitic, about what they mean for her personal and our collective identity and development.
The Feminist Art Colony in Sicevo was created out of a desire to empower and promote young female artists, as well as with the intention to involve visual artists of the Serbian and regional scene more in current feminist topics, to connect with each other, to achieve cooperation and to give them space in where they can freely practice their art. This art colony was founded in 2015, on the 110th anniversary of the founding of the art colony in Sicevo, whose founder was the Serbian painter and humanitarian Nadezda P.
The feminist art colony was supported by OAK and Trag Foundation and the Global Fund for Women.
For legal and free abortion - Street action
Over 1,500 people saw the street action "For legal and free abortion", which was held by the activists of the Center for Girls, due to the news that the doctors at the Niš Clinical Center refused to perform an abortion on a female patient.
Abortion is an intervention that gives a woman the freedom to make her own decisions about her body, to choose when, if ever and how many children she will have. In Serbia, it is legal up to the 10th week of pregnancy, and the law determines that a woman who wishes to terminate a pregnancy at her personal request has the right to the above-mentioned medical intervention. Abortion must remain legal, free and available to every girl and woman.
Workshop ,,Get started, move and apply“
Activists of the Center for Girls and members of the Academic Theater of SKC Niš socialized and learned through the theater workshop "Get started, move and apply" with Olivera V. ., actress, director and director of the Belgrade theater Pan Teatar.
The workshop is part of this year's Nashville Jazz Theater Festival.
Working group for creation of a new planning document in the field of the fight against human trafficking
The Center for Girls became part of the Working Group for the development of a new planning document in the field of combating human trafficking, together with five other organizations from the country, which work to solve the problem of human trafficking.
The center for girls will be represented by Tatjana N. and her deputy Marija V. By participating in the work of the group, the Center for Girls will make a direct contribution to the development of a new planning document, which aims to improve the response of the Republic of Serbia to the problem of human trafficking and contribute to its suppression.
Center for Girls opens Children Daycare Center
The Center for Girls launches the Children Daycare Center, intended for children in Niš who live and/or work on the streets or live in poverty.
The services of the day center for children are already used by several Roma children.
The children's center is implemented as part of the project "Improved social cohesion in Niš and Southern Serbia through reducing the risk of human trafficking and increasing the resilience of street children", supported by the European Union, through the EU Pro Plus program.
Training for volunteers of Children’s Daycare Center was held
The Center for Girls held a training session for volunteers of the Children Daycare Center, where those present had the opportunity to learn about the way of working in the field and in the Children Daycare Center.
The training was led by Tatjana N. There were talks about communication, active listening, empathy, collecting information about the users and protecting the rights of the child and the user's identity.
The training was conducted within project "Improved Social Cohesion in Niš and South Serbia Through Reducing The risk of Human Trafficking and Increasing The Resilience of Street Children", supported by the European Union, through the EU Pro Plus programne.
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9. Feminist art colony
For legal and free abortion - Street action
Workshop ,,Get started, move and apply"
Children Daycare Center
Training, Volunteers of Children's Daycare Centar