about me

three times she grafiti Mostar

hvale vale (small letters as per bell hooks)

My name is hvale vale, feminist, queer, single mother, street activist, southern Italian by birth and passport, writer of words and poetry. Daughter of elementary school teachers repaying their debt for the family apartment, intellectual by practice and curiosity, self-learner of languages and skills, risk-taker by discovery.

Currently working remotely @ the Association for Progressive Communication holding a cross-programs position, connecting from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina where I live with my twins.

Long ago, inspired by the Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance I chose love over power and that’s my practice. Life had though me important lessons of which I keep good and live memory. Practicing ethics of care is a constant renew oath. I have gone “up and down” the career scale., which was and is essential to our own sanity, to break out from roles and their rigidity, to practice risks and allow personal transformation. I am aware that the tone of one’s writing is set by the readers, so I confide in you.

For me, born in southern Italy 50+ years ago with a white skin, life had been a path of unlearning, deconstructing and eye-opening. Lead by bell hooks and her theory of the margins I have invested my life to imagine and try feminist governance and operational infrastructures that challenge/hacks norms and standards while accepting the risk of walking with and trough the contradiction and paradox of legal entities.

My interest and curiosity regardless of the specific job or position I have held has been and is about livable systems, distributed models based on relationality, ethic and nurtured leadership. Intersections of many kinds: politics, feminism, power in all its forms and dimensions, proximity and relationality beyond individualism, #feministinternet, rights, sexuality and the transformative power of technology from a poetical perspective and practice.

New distributed models of organizing are, for me, as an evolving multilayered approach, a field of engagement and discovery and a sustaining utopia. It is a way of looking at life and interaction with tech with political intentionality crossing and surpassing ideology.

It is about solidarity, liberation, recognition and structural care of people as well as the environment. It is questioning paradigms. Reflecting on use of natural resources, capital and economical models. It is a way of being contextual yet global and vary defined by the people using and naming components or essences they see and intend to prioritize and explore.

The ductility of distributed model opens up to as many possibilities as many nodes and their creators and maintainers. Because of that, we need researches that are not empty and consumed, used as a commodified and commodifying label. Explorative ideation, designing and programming able to reuse and reinvent within existing spaces informed by people and their intersectionality, by languages and all kinds of resources.

Through the years I have built a net of friends and colleagues to help me not vanish in roles and performances. Ageing has made me experienced and knowledgeable, welcoming openness. For me, getting rid of perfection,  listening, stepping aside while maintaining one’s own voice was/is a life-long path. Accountability is a reflexive, transformative queer anarchist practice to help me unpacking and redefine boundaries, unsettling  positionality and projections of the white aged body in which I am “packed”.

Things I do and work on: facilitation, visioning and designing of online/remote spaces and places, movement building, storytelling, digital safety, research, advocacy for transformational institutional governance and operations, holding/supporting activists and cso’s workers in learning/managing systems and processes and anything that catch up my imagination and push me out of comfort zone and applied skills.

Some key moments: Youth feminist politics, copy editor for local publisher and secretary of redaction for local newspaper. I moved in 1994 to the Western Balkan where than migrated for good, first working for international humanitarian aid organizations, than in 2003, I led the process that established if not the first, one of the first online organization and media for civil society One World Platform, a local registered foundation that tackled and researched the intersections between internet rights, women’s rights and the transformative power of technology and, one of the proud founders of the feminist portal www.zenskaposla.ba

After coming back to humanitarian aid in the wake of the disastrous floods that hit Bosnia Herzegovina and the neighborhood countries in 2014 and the subsequent refugees’ crisis along the “Balkan Route”, in April 2017 I started a new professional adventure with the Women’s Rights Program of the Association for Progressive Communication focusing on the intersection of Sexual rights and the internet.

I discovered and learned about technology-related issues through my work, so my engagement with internet, tech and digital rights ranges from policy to advocacy to capacity building. Experience is the main drive and way for learning + remote courses as a way to consolidate and synthesize.

I maintain my own blog, because believe data ownership matters and like the idea of having my own s_place and an open accessible memory. You can read me also on Masina.rs, Berliner Gazette, GenderIT.org or GISWatch, DCAF -Cyber Violence against Women and Girls in the Western Balkans: Selected Case Studies and a Cybersecurity Governance Approach and Handbook on Securing Online and Offline Freedoms for Women. I speak here and there from remote in regional and international forums.

You can contact me here or via email: vale [@] hvale [.] me