Get Involved: CEED Feminisms

Feminist Duration Reading Group x Cell Project Space

21.09.2023
Darija Radaković, Misplaced Woman, 2015. Courtesy of the artist. Image credit: Mick
Cell Project Space and Feminist Duration Reading Group are leading a British Art Network research group exploring the role of feminist thinking in constructing cultural narratives about Central Eastern Europe and British Central Eastern European diaspora. A series of 5 reading groups September 2023 - February 2024 will bring together a network of practitioners based in the UK and Central Eastern Europe to distill their research into a published bibliography and resouce with an aim to expand upon the concerns and content of each session.
 
Expanding on practices and concerns platformed across Cell Project Space's 2022/3 programme, the research group responds to cultural blind spots around prejudice and xenophobia in the UK towards the 'Eastern European' immigrant, sharpened by Russia’s war in Ukraine, and by Brexit. The CEED Feminisms programme aims to open spaces of mutual support, curiosity and learning that oppose the UK's hostile environment.
 
CEED Feminisms is a network of over 40 members who joined the project via an open call. Contributing from varying professional and personal perspectives – artist, migrant, scholar, activist – since June 2023 the research network has identified and developed research around focus areas for the programme.
 
Building on Feminist Duration Reading Group’s tried and tested methodology of reading under-known and under-appreciated feminist texts from outside the Anglo-American canon out-loud, together, the series launches with the first three reading groups addressing decolonial, postsocialist Central 'Eastern' European feminisms; transnational feminist solidarity in war, and labour and 'East' to 'West' migration.
 
Reading Group 1: On Thursday 21st September 2023, Reading Group 1 considered the specificities of Central Eastern European feminisms inflected by postsocialism, continuities in postsocialist and postcolonial feminisms and routes to decentring Western Feminisms. Extracts from Ewa Majewska's Feminist Antifascism (2021), focused the case of postsocialist neoliberal Poland, a ‘semi-peripheral state’ through the lens of the legacy of Polish 1980s trade union-led social movement Solidarność, weak resistance, and public feminist protest, to situate feminism as a political antithesis to fascism. In counterpoint, Madina Tlostanova, Suruchi Thapar-Björkert, and Redi Koobak's ‘Border thinking and disidentification,’ (2016) advocated for transversal dialogues and ‘volatile but effective coalitions between postsocialist and postcolonial feminists,’ proposing tools for a feminist practice that escapes the terms of feminism's 'Western' hegemonic centre.
 
Reading Group 2: On Wednesday 4th October, Reading Group 2 will explore the dynamics and possibilities of transnational feminist solidarity in the face of Russia's war in Ukraine. In dialogue with the conference 'Transnational Feminist Solidarity with Ukrainian Feminists' and corresponding journal Gender Studies No. 26, co-organised and co-edited in May 2022 by American philosopher and gender studies writer Judith Butler, German feminist and sociologist Sabine Hark and Ukrainian feminist scholar and peace activist Irina Zherebkina, this session will consider how feminist solidarities are shaped by the 'East-West' divide; by feminist ethics of non-violence in conflict with feminist discourses defending practices of violence and revenge, and by differing perspectives on the roles of nationalisms vs transnationalism in feminist responses to war.
 
Reading Group 3: Will bring together works by feminist artists whose practices address labour, diasporic experience and 'east' to 'west' European migration. Moderated by Lina Džuverović, Curator & Course Leader for the MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Art, and with connections to the former Yugoslavia, Džuverović's research focuses on feminist art histories and contemporary art as a site of solidarity and community-building. 
 
If you are interested to find out more about the CEED Feminisms Research Network please contact Jessie Krish: jessie [at] cellprojects [dot] org
 
Creating spaces of mutual support, curiosity and learning, CEED Feminisms aims to respond to cultural blind spots around prejudice and xenophobia in the UK towards the 'Eastern European' immigrant, sharpened by Russia’s war in Ukraine, and by Brexit. ​As we aim to bring together a network of practitioners based in and beyond the UK and Central Eastern Europe, CEED Feminisms will be active through Autumn 2023 - Winter 2024, as the group distils their manifold feminist perspectives into a bibliography that expands upon the concerns of each reading group session. Additional public events will be announced in the new year. 
 
Facilitated by Jessie Krish and Adomas Narkevičius (Cell Project Space), and Lina Dz̆uverović, Sabrina Fuller and Helena Reckitt (Feminist Duration Reading Group). All are welcome to contribute and participate.
 
Established in 2015, the Feminist Duration Reading Group (FDRG) is a gathering focused on feminisms outside the dominant Anglo-American canon. It juxtaposes earlier moments of radical feminist thought, art, and collective practice with current urgencies. The group has developed a practice of reading out loud, together, one paragraph at a time, with the aim of creating a sense of connection and intimacy during meetings.
 
Image credits
Above: Darija Radaković, Misplaced Woman, 2015. Courtesy of the artist. Image credit: Mick
Home page: Tanja Ostojić: “Misplaced Women? Dedicated to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada”, 60 minutes performance; performance video, 30min 30 sec, Performed by Tanja Ostojić, on Sunday, October 16, 2016
 
CEED Feminisms is a Research Group of the British Art Network (BAN). BAN is a Subject Specialist Network supported by Tate and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, with additional public funding provided by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
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Generously supported by Cockayne Foundation