FTB @ VISIONS IN FEMINISM CONFERENCE 2009

SATURDAY, APR 4 2009

VISIONS IN FEMINISM CONFERENCE
WASHINGTON, DC

APR 4, 2009 / 8AM – 5:30PM

FOR THE BIRDS feminist collective + distro will be both tabling and presenting at the upcoming Visions in Feminism conference in Washington, DC on April 4th, 2009. Our workshop, “Queer Eye for the DIY,” is in the 2:00PM-3:30PM timeslot.

More info on the conference can be found at: http://vifconference.wordpress.com/

From the website:

Visions in Feminism is a local conference held annually in the DC area since 2001. Originally hosted by the University of Maryland, the conference has been held at American University for the last three years. Each year Visions in Feminism seeks to provide a forum for diverse perspectives on feminist praxis

The theme of the 2009 Visions in Feminism conference is “Pushing Boundaries: Queering Feminism & Queer-ying our Communities.” The conference will explore ways of queering ourselves and our communities; that is, unfixing definitions of feminism while pushing our boundaries to re-examine our relationships to feminist praxis. Challenging what we “know” without rejecting the history of feminist struggle, we will instead build on this legacy to propel the discourse into a boldly radical, more inclusive feminism. While we wish to continue the conventional discussion of queer theory in terms of gender and sexuality, we also wish to look beyond identity politics, working instead from a framework that provides a basis for queering every aspect of ourselves, our communities, and also our activism.
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FOR THE BIRDS will be presenting a workshop entitled “Queer Eye for the DIY”:

Queer Eye for the DIY For the Birds Collective, a New York City-based feminist collective and zine distro, present the notion that feminist practice should be in constant practice. In this workshop, we will examine how and why feminist activities in radical, already “queered” communities which provided a framework in the past for women to create alternative spaces, have seemingly disintegrated. We will begin with a much-needed dialogue around the state of feminism today, and explore and challenge reasons for gravitating towards such punk or DIY subcultures. We will explore such questions as: Do similar currents of patriarchal oppression run through subcultural spaces as well as the mainstream spaces from which we had hoped to escape? If so, how can feminists marginalized within these supposedly “safe” spaces utilize feminist practice to address the oppression they feel? What does a truly queer feminist practice look like within the punk and DIY scenes, as opposed to more mainstream social spaces? Moving forward, we will facilitate discussions to critically analyze DIY ethics within grassroots organizing and aim to broaden the scope for a more inclusive feminism.

By sharing experiences, we will identify ways to use DIY ethics as a common bridge to bind the gap between us and other grassroots organizing communities, while maintaining our oft-punk roots and our agenda as a feminist collective.What kinds of resources and strategies are available to us that are typically overlooked by punk communities? How can we work with other groups while accepting our differences, and recognizing what we are? What are ways to coin in on our assets while finding a space for them in the “outside” world? By digging into feminist history, we will examine tactics used by feminists in the past to interrupt oppression and bridge these said gaps, and analyze the way patriarchal structure impacts both the mainstream and already queered cultures. For the Birds believe in taking on a variety of ways to further queer our communities and to further equip ourselves with tools to broaden the way in which we organize.

Presenters: Kathleen Mcintyre is a member of the “For the Birds” feminist collective living in New York City. She has created a compilation zine on grief and loss, and is interested in building radical support around physical and mental health issues. Get in touch! theworstzine@gmail.com

Kate Wadkins is an artist and writer living in New York City. She is a member of the For the Birds feminist collective and distro, and is interested in establishing safe spaces for feminist artists and activists. Please get in touch! katewadkins@gmail.com

Cynthia Schemmer is a writer and baker living in New York. She is a member of the For the Birds feminist collective and distro, and is interested in creating a space in which women writer’s can promote their work.

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