For the fifth consecutive year, Syspirosi Atakton, an anarchist, anti-authoritarian, anti-oppressive group rooted in Nicosia organizes the Genders and Power festival. The aim is to discuss and elaborate on the ways genders, in their intersections with multiple sociopolitical and cultural categories of difference, interact in myriad ways and arbitrarily produce systemic inequalities. This year, discussions will focus on women’s agency, reproductive justice, lesbian desire, and queer Cypriot art. Abjected voices and their resistance to hegemonic power structures will be put at the center of our struggle. Genders and Power festival neither essentializes nor naturalizes identities or experiences of any kind. It rather seeks to signalize, understand and deconstruct various societal systemic power relations in order to resist them; and here lies its political importance. Accountability, situatedness, and self-reflexivity are all really important elements of our festival’s approach as it seeks to denormalize and delegitimize power differentials and categories through engaging discussions, interactive performances, and parties with politics. Join us!
Two-day Festival Schedule
|Friday, Dec. 8th||Saturday, Dec. 9th|
|19:00 Nandia Efthymiou & Elena Pissaridou: Women’s migration and sex work: destabilizing the logocentric framework of trafficking [ΕΛΛ/GR]||18:00 Erman Dolmacı – Queer Cyprus Activist: Intersectionalities: Feminism, antimilitarism, ecology, anticapitalism and veganism [ENG/ΑΓΓ]|
|20:30: Rooftop Theatre Group Edep-siz 2.5 (performance)||19:30 Dayanışma & Sispirosi Atakton: Reproductive justice and the right to abortion in north and south Cyprus [ENG/ΑΓΓ]|
|21:00 Ioanna Koutalianou: Views and perceptions of deeply religious people (Christian Orthodox) about homosexuality [ΕΛΛ/GR]||20:30 Ellada Evangelou, Nicos Philippou & Marilena Zackheos: Queer Praxis in Contemporary Cypriot Art [ENG/ΑΓΓ]|
|22:00 Xaritini Kyriakou & Elena Vasileiou: xaritini+elena=lfe [ΕΛΛ/GR]||21:30 Evi Tselika Excavating hard drives: Glimpses of female Cypriot bodies and voices in an ambiguous order [ENG/ΑΓΓ]|
|23:00 Trash Your Gender closing party|
Women’s migration and sex work: destabilizing the logocentric framework of trafficking
Nandia Efthymiou & Elena Pissaridou
On the issue of human trafficking, we see inflationary academic speech on female victimization and state policies to combat human trafficking in compliance with international conventions and directives from the EU. On this base, create a Discourse, which is used to create policies, population control and the biopolitical molding of people, and in particular their thoughts, fears and consensus on gender political issues that are set as issues of security and morality rather than human and natural rights issues. Still, how Discourse can be used to curb the citizens in a way that serves state and international political, social and economic interests. More specifically, as regards the issue of human trafficking, on the one hand, Discourse becomes the tool for the promotion of immigration policies and borders securitization, and on the other hand, a mean of limiting women’s mobility and defining the role and sexuality of women.
Edep-siz 2.5 (performance)
Rooftop Theatre Group
The performance “Edep-siz 2.5” is an extract from the performance EDEP-SIZ II that took place in Keryneia last March. This project was created by the ensemble work of the director with the performers. The basis of the performance was the research and analysis of the art works that were displayed at the exhibition. The “Edep-siz 2.5” performance explores the different gender identities and possibilities that one body can have. Misperceiving or repressing our own gender can create a distorted view of our body and identity.
Views and perceptions of deeply religious people (Christian Orthodox) about homosexuality
This presentation is based on a qualitative research project conducted during 2015. This project addresses the ways deeply religious Greek Orthodox people socially construct homosexuality, as well as their views and perceptions towards homosexual people. The methodology used for data collection is semi-structured interviews lasting 30-80 minutes each. The interviewees were asked to answer questions regarding their understanding of homosexuality and sexual orientation, their opinion on homosexual persons’ rights and claims, and their views on the ways homosexual persons are treated in social environment and interpersonal relationships.
Xaritini Kyriakou & Elena Vasileiou
A performative lecture with xaritini Kyriakou and Elena Vasileiou in relation to the ambiguities and the (in)visibility of female and lesbian desire.
Intersectionalities: Feminism, antimilitarism, ecology, anticapitalism and veganism
Erman Dolmacı – Queer Cyprus Activist
The revolution will be intersectional, or it won’t be my revolution. Time’s up single-issue activists. There is no struggle left but OUR collective struggle.
Reproductive justice and the right to abortion in north and south Cyprus
Dayanışma and Syspirosi Atakton
This joint presentation of Dayanışma and Syspirosi Atakton will discuss the issue of abortion and reproductive rights in North and South Cyprus.
As Dayanışma, we will introduce some social-cultural, religious, and legal aspects of the right to abortion debate in north Cyprus. In the northern part of the island, women’s abortion right has been discussed and came into attention of the media after several incidents that took place in past few years. Abortion was always seen as a taboo issue which has not been discussed in the public but was rather a “problem” to be solved by woman behind the doors. The politicians, doctors and public in general are not considering abortion as women’s reproductive right but through the right to life of fetus according to socio-cultural and religious aspects. The current laws allow women only to have abortion up to 10 weeks with the permission of the husband if the woman is married or with the allowance from her parents if she is below 18 years old. Although the current legal situation is very restrictive for women, according to recent experiences it is known that even this cannot be practiced in public hospitals. Women are often sent to private hospitals and being force to pay high prices which clearly shows the close relationship between patriarchy and capitalism.
As Syspirosi Atakton, we will introduce the current legal framework in South Cyprus and its historical development. Bringing in theoretical perspectives shaped by the Women’s Liberation, reproductive rights, and pro-choice movements, we will then discuss issues of agency, body politics, the public/private debate, existential freedom, and other related issues. Abortion rights will be framed not as the ultimate goal of the reproductive rights movement, but rather as a part of the fight for Reproductive Justice. The freedom to make reproductive decisions without fear of humiliation or punishment is inseparable from the struggles to improve the conditions necessary to make such choices, against the current regime of state and clerical violation of our bodily autonomy under capitalism. After all, fighting for reproductive justice means fighting for breaking well-established binarisms down; it means challenging identifications of the thinking subject with the universal and of both of them with the masculine; it means re-centering the radical, female, thinking, agentic subject.
Queer Praxis in Contemporary Cypriot Art
Ellada Evangelou, Nicos Philippou and Marilena Zackheos
“Queer Praxis in Contemporary Cypriot Art” will explore contemporary artistic practices in Cyprus that disrupt heteronormative narratives pertaining to family relations, nationalism, tradition, and inheritance. The panel will ask: What types of artistic practices constitute as queer? How do diverse artistic means (fine arts, performing arts, multimedia) negotiate queerness? How do Cypriot artists orientate themselves toward and away from heterosexual culture? In turn, how does place/space orientate artists? Ellada Evangelou will discuss the queering of diverse artistic practice within the In-decent/Edep-Siz Project (Rooftop Theatre / ArtRooms). Nicos Philippou and Marilena Zackheos will discuss the ways in which Charitini Kyriakou’s exhibition ‘Rooms,’ Despina Michaelidou’s participation in the performances ‘Urban Drag’ and ‘Small Homelands’, and Re Aphrodite’s exhibition ‘At Maroudia’s’ queerly appropriate space and challenge heteronormative logics.
Excavating hard drives: Glimpses of female Cypriot bodies and voices in an ambiguous order
For the last eight or so years I have been gathering stories and images from Cyprus which relate to female ancient deities, women who lived in Ottoman times, twentieth century working women groups, women marches, contemporary female migrant activists. Some of these relate to personal, research or visual interests and some have arisen through explorations with different collaborators. This presentation will interweave these moments to reflect on how we understand body and voice in how we interpret the image of woman in Cyprus. Digging through my hard drives I stitch together a narrative to think of the ambiguous of Cypriot feminines and feminisms.
Social Space Kaymakkin, in Kaimakli Nicosia, is hosting Genders & Power festival again this year. The venue is located on the intersection of Archiepiskopou Makariou III Ave and Vasileos Pavlou Str, about 50 metres after the O Platanos coffeeshop. More details on how to access it can be found on the social space’s website
In our events we strive to offer on-the-spot whisper interpretation between languages to people who need it.