The Feminist Festval “Femmes Fatales” was organized in Kosovo in the end of May by Kvinna till Kvinna’s partner organisation Artpolis. One the program was, among other things, the performance “Crossing the Line”, that evoked lots of emotions among the audience affected by the war. The play was set up by DAH Teatar, Serbia and deals with the past, showing stories from women during the Balkan wars. The stories are taken from the book “Women’s Side of War” published by Women in Black, also supported by Kvinna till Kvinna. The performance was well accepted and it received good comments.
Wednesday, 29th May! It’s morning, and it’s raining and we are running to the metro station on the way to the European Commission (EC) building. And here we are for the EC consultations with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Brussels!
Voila! Waiting at the reception desk from where a nice lady called Sanne pick us up and bring us into the building. Lots of emotions and lots of enthusiasm! Macedonia goes first, then Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo. We are all here, exited and ready!
Meantime the bilateral meetings with the head of the EC country units are scheduled! Wish us luck and we’ll soon let you know how did it go!
Kvinna till Kvinna and partner organisations from the Western Balkans finalise preparations for the consultations with EC DG Enlargement. (Directorate-General of the European Commission – responsible for the enlargement process of the European Union.) Meanwhile they met a representative of the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU in Brussels.
Picture: Meeting with Efraim Gomez and delegation from Western Balkans.
“Too many policies, strategies and papers and too little implementation” was the general conclusion of the twelve representatives of women’s Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Kvinna till Kvinna’s partners from five Balkan countries that were part of the initial meetings today.
As part of the advocacy work towards EU, Kvinna till Kvinna and partner organisations from the Western Balkans for five years in a row take part in the consultations between the EC DG Enlargement* and the Civil Society that are each year held in Brussels. The strengthened focus of Kvinna till Kvinna as a political partner to local women’s organisations combined with the increased presence and importance of EU in the region brings us back to Brussels this year again.
My colleague and I went to Rustaveli Avenue, in Tbilisi, Georgia to join a flash mob marking International Day of Homophobia and Transphobia. We went there early, we wanted to see counter-protesters who started rally early in the morning.
* Rally of Priests and the parish walking towards old Parliament building
While Nelly and I were standing in the street with lipstick and camera on witnessed an incredible hate and violence today! We saw thousands of people walking towards old parliament building, clergy, priests, the parish, ordinary people, and saw even school children brought to the venue by school mini-buses. These people were walking proudly as if they were celebrating something. They were shouting: ‘Death to faggots’, ‘We protect our children from the disease of faggots’, ‘all faggots should be killed and stoned to death’, ‘we are here to show our religion and morality’; Exactly, as if hate and violence is part of Christianity and Christian Values.
I decided to inject into the crowd of homophobes who were already having manifestation in front of the old Parliament building. I was among them hearing and watching everything that I did not want to hear. Women, men, young girls and boys, elderly people – all together were standing there with nettle and waiting for homosexuals to hit them with nettle, saying that since they are not allowed to use iron or wooden sticks they will use nettles to hit ‘faggots’.
It was a manifestation of hate, violence, aggression! It was a pure representation of general public!
It is the 11th of May 2013, in Prishtina, Kosovo. 14 years after the war, seven young female students of arts and acting, ready to break the silence. From the outside, Prishtina looks like a modern city, recovered from its tragic past. For some, the trauma from the war has still not been treated, nor talked about.
During the 1998-1999 conflict, rape was used as a weapon of war, with the purpose of destroying families and the society. In the Kosovo context, rape is closely connected to shame, which makes it also hard to talk about in the aftermath of the war.