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#TheFutureIsFemale: The Female Convention

A program about feminism and activism with authors Zsófia Bán (Hungary), Mona Eltahawy (US), Dilâra Gürcü (France), Mithu Sanyal (Germany) and Nazmiye Oral, Kaouthar Darmoni, Laura van Dolron and Nicole le Fever (moderator). In English.

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Watch the keynote speech, Love Politics, by the German writer, journalist and cultural scientist Mithu Sanyal here.

It's up to us. This is what women in Poland and Turkey are demanding in their protests on behalf of gender equality and better protection against violence. The ruling right-wing nationalist politicians in their countries want to withdraw from the so-called Istanbul Convention. This Council of Europe human rights convention is the world's first binding instrument to prevent and tackle violence against women. Some governments are concerned about the "moral implications" of this important milestone and even claim it could be "harmful" to their societies.

In The Female Convention, we analyzed the demonstrations and gave a voice to authors. In short: we employed literature to make the convention tangible and to breathe new life into it. This program featuring strong women and current politics was hosted by journalist Nicole le Fever and produced by writer and programmer Meltem Halaceli. Those interested could actively take part in the chat session hosted by theatre producer and stand-up philosopher Laura van Dolron.

Nicole le Fever and Turkish writer, psychologist and feminist Dilâra Gürcü zoomed in on the protests in Turkey, as well as on the means of protest and the role played by writers and artists. Gürcü provided a formidable testimonial of her life, which has changed dramatically since 2013.

The Hungarian writer and literary critic Zsófia Bán explained how she demands women's rights through the incisiveness and imaginative power of language.

By means of a video message, Egyptian-American journalist, writer and feminist Mona Eltahawy made it crystal clear that the convention fails to do justice to refugees and women without residency permits, or those who depend on their partners for their residency status.

We also spoke to Kaouthar Darmoni and to actor and writer Nazmiye Oral about the role they can and want to play in this debate. How do they voice their activism and feminism from their positions of visibility?

Next, we zoomed out to a "politics of love" with the German writer, journalist and cultural scientist Mithu Sanyal. Her books Vulva (2009) and Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo (2019) explore how our society has dealt with sexual violence for centuries, and what that says about our beliefs on sex, sexuality and gender. The driven researcher's video-essay is an inspiring and confrontational report on her investigation into love as a political force.
Watch the video-essay "Love Politics" by Mithu Sanyal here.

Read the text of the video-essay by Mithu Sanyal, commissioned for this program by the Winternachten international literature Festival The Hague, here.
(Find the Dutch-language version here/Lees hier de Nederlandstalige versie)

More background:

Zsófia Bán

Laura van Dolron

Kaouthar Darmoni

Mona Eltahawy
website: FEMINIST GIANT newsletter
Video: video-essays including FEMINIST GIANT

Dilâra Gürcü
Articles by Gürcü at online magazine sister-hood
Gürcüs webpage at INSEAD - The Business School for the World, Paris

Meltem Halaceli
Meltem Halaceli's publications with De Correspondent

MIthu Sanyal
Video: Mithu Sanyal in conversation with Verso about her book Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo
Articles by Mithu Sanyal in The Guardian