Originally published on GenderIT.org, Feminist talks
Another day had passed and tomorrow will be the last day of the AWID 2012 Forum.. At the end of day two I fell down, literally, I just fell. It did hurt but I stood up and went to the party a bit scored but, all in all, well.
The Underground Cistern is an incredible place from the Romans’ time, adapted to disco. But the drinks were far too expensive so a few friends of mine went out buying a bottle for what inside bought one drink. I left relatively early and went with C. outside talking all night about ourselves, our politics, our pasts, love, money, violence witnessed and much much more.
A forum is an immense thing to think, to do and to live in. Its a space to behold, an opportunity for thinking louder but it is also a revelation of all our criticality. At first sight they can look just like details that could be dismissed, but I do not think so.
First day I got my tag-name as other 2500 women, LGBT & Queer, sex workers and so many others that have their own multiple identities. Some of these identities are loved more than others, some have been discontinued, and some others are still to come. So the tag-name printed out my official-registered-passport-identity: name, last name and country. I looked at it and I did not recognize myself, yes indeed my country of origin was correct but I do not, almost never, use my full name and I have not lived in Italy since ’94. Then I met few friends and looked at their tag-names and I discover a new country, the country of “Others”. The missed place was Kosova and my friends were not happy and they handwrote and named their place. Then I heard that Palestinians had a similar problem. That’s made me start thinking around the way a feminist forum should address and respect people’s migration and respect the complexity of the places/countries we live, we left, we have been kicked out of. So the name-tag should hold a space blank and leave each and everyone free to define and geo-tag him/herself. And if someone thinks that tag-names are a necessary measure to ensure secure identification I would answer that we are using the same protocol as the ones we contest, or at least that I contest. I see awid as a political space, a feminist political space and therefore a space that needs to practice complexity. And clearly we cannot say that we do no like the world we are in, and then use the same “logic and logistic” of the “master”.
Today in two different spaces, in two different sessions by two different persons from two different continents I heard the same mantra, “we cannot defeat the master using its tools/weapons”. Suddenly all the small pieces fell into place. We need to pay attention to the politics of details, we need to be able to not run and try to be the first on the bus for the party; we can dance outside while waiting and encounter beautiful others. We do not need to film or take pictures of someone when she said repeatedly that she does not want to be filmed, we do not need to put names and last names and countries on an identification, we can add a line and let people to choose if and how to name their places. It is indeed in the politic of details that we show how much we really care. That politics asks for a real practice of horizontality that needs to get across all spaces.
We need political practices of resistance that question standard solutions and that look for alternatives. We need to question and question again, ourselves as much as the other, a tag-name can make a difference in an homogenized world. And, yes indeed it’s all about love and the internet!
Inspired and dedicated from the title to the end to bell hooks