Welcome to the Blog of Feministival, a non-profit do-it-yourself feminist festival which will take place in Istanbul, in June 2013.

feministival4 from MarIstanbul on Vimeo.

Volume IV is on the way...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Call for Program

For detailed program click here.

PLEASE SIGN UP FOR THE WORKSHOPS by writing an email to bagyanfest@gmail.com, saying which workshops you would like to participate in and if you need translation for these.

During the Lunch breaks there is going to be a lunch prepared by the "feminist men" in LambdaIstanbul. There is no charge for the food but there will be a box for donations.
Workshops and activities:

Creative Resistance: 

Clown Army, Intervention Performances, Street Occupation, Stencil, Feminist Swearwords


Blogging, Photoshop, dubbing Films, Photo


Recycled Meals, exchanging/recycling clothes, crochet toys, knitting, ecological living in cities/d.i.y. dish washing detergent, cloth menstrual pad

Body Awareness:

Yoga, Dance, Performance Preparations

Workshop Descriptions:

Clothes Exchange and Modifying

organized by Isabel


Got a sweatshirt as a present from your aunt? One piece of clothing that you would never imagine to dress in your life might become another person’s favorite one! You are really bored by your old shirts? It’s time to get creative! Everybody is invited to bring her/his old/unloved clothes to exchange them with someone else’s. Or make simple but effective changes to them. In a group we can help each other by sharing ideas, knowledge of techniques etc.


We need a big table on which every participant has her/his own working space. The idea is that not everybody should be working on the same thing at the same time so we won’t have a problem with the sewing machine. We need at least one more sewing machine, two would be even better, so if anybody knows anyone with a sewing machine that we could borrow for a day, please let me know. It would be nice to not only collect old clothes but also any other sort of material that you have at home (bows, buttons, wool, any sort of decoration material) and you don’t need anymore.


In case that we decide to use the clothes for any specific purpose (e.g. dressing up for the party, using them as costumes for the street activities) the workshop should be, of course, before that event. Maybe Saturday afternoon/evening? It could be a nice social activity for relaxing as well. But it does not really matter for me. The workshop will take about 3 hours.

Intervention Performances

The more the number of participants, the better. 
There will be definitely a preparation time for the performances but never too long. Logically, the space, used for preparation, limit the number of people who wants to attend, but whoever is able to come, will pass the word to another who wants to join so a chain of info will build up, i believe.
Briefly, we will talk more and thoroughly soon, we will do performances in public space. These will be more like interventions. Performances can be:
1) re-claiming the areas of under male domination as women,
2) further developed into putting on the 'male' behaviour and talk to mirror them and moreover to express the performative gender. And depending on mirroring them,
3) moreover, we can even dress up as men, with our moustache and beard on that very spot.
We had other thoughts as well, but we ought to be realistic in realisation of them in 3 days. Soon, we'll be talking about the details..

Feminist Slang/Swearword Workshop

Organized by Aslı 

There is no need to say that almost all women feel social pressure once they swear or use slang. As cursing women, we are always stigmatized by being immodest, wicked or male_like. Yet the pressure does not only come out of using swearwords and slang. It also exists in the slang and swearwords themselves that are strongly shaped by a sexualized and male dominant language and gaze, which constantly target our bodies. Hence, this workshop aims at discussing the relationship between body/gender/language, as well as contemplating the possibilities of producing feminist slang and swearwords as a collaborative activity. As against accepting the roles that we are ascribed like speaking like a lady or keeping in silence when getting angry, let's get together to think and produce our own slang and swearwords, as well as remember the old ones which do not circulate in our current vocabulary anymore. For getting the maximum out of this workshop, that would be great if you could email me the slang/swearwords that you consider as feminist or gender neutral. My email :a.zengin@gmail.com. In case you have something to suggest or ask, please feel free to drop an email into my inbox.

Considering the maximum number of attendees as 30, a meeting hall/room which suitable for this number would be enough. That would be great if we have the luxury of having everyone seated.

Time schedule
Depending on the number of participants, a length of 1 or 1,5 hours would be enough 

Photography workshop

Organized by Özge 

For those who are interested in photography, we're going to reply some questions like "where to start", "what type of camera should I use", "how I can improve my technical skills" accompanying with amateur and professional photographers in two hours.

You can bring your prints or digital photos and we can talk about them.

If you have something specific to talk/get information, email to workshop host Özge ogozke@gmail.com or comment to blog. So we can draw the lines of workshop. For example, we can talk about taking good portraits, studio photography, finding and telling stories,documentary photography, where photographers can work...


In the second hour, following by 30 min. presentation about women photographers' work, as using feminist approach we're going to discuss if women photographers have their own style, what are the working conditions, visibility of their work.

Crochet Toys



organized by Nihal

First of all, i will start with showing basic knitting techniques like cast on, cast off, knit and purl stitches. Then I would like to show how to do a mini vulva object. This is based on a free design I found online. The object is small and i believe it is easy to do within the workshop hour and then they can show it off as a key chain. I will provide the yarn and the clit beads but I don't know about the needles, maybe we can make an arrangement and borrow some from somewhere?..

Clown Army

organized by Begüm


Cloth Menstrual Pad

organized by Nihal

I don’t wanna bore anyone with historical, useless information. However, I am sure we all remember that at the beginning of 80’ies, it was a technique of women to fold fabric pieces and ‘put’ it inside their underwear in their periods. Then orkid was put on the market and everything changed. Visibility of the menstruation fact through the advertisements was an advantageous side maybe but the way in which media reflects the situation was a step back. Because, in those advertisements menstrual blood was being introduced as something dirty and bleeding as something disgusting. When I think deeply on it, I realize that those advertisements tells you to get rid of that shit as soon as possible actually. During that time course, we totally got alienated from our natural cycle. 
Fabric pads are on the agenda of people for some time now again. Especially in foreign countries (mainly among women who choose not to have a career but stay at home) it is being perceived as a profession, they even have famous brands of fabric pads. Of course, they are not like the folded fabric ones that we used to build in 80’ies, but absorbing, aromatic smelling ones. They are made out of various different fabrics, produced like commercial disposable ones (typical pads that we know) but washable this time. 
‘Fabric pad’ topic -either buying, building, or using- gives lots of messages. First one, needless to say, waste issue which industry does not care. Washable fabric pad gives an important ecological message by being a solution to waste problem. Second one is the gender issue. It is not only ‘hygienic’ pads what companies produce. They also produce stereotypical images of women by giving a stiff description of what is being a woman and dictating us how we must feel in our menstruation periods. In this context, we will get the control of our body and personal environment back by building and using our own hand-made pads. 
Within the workshop, I am thinking of showing 2 different techniques in pad building. Besides, if we find a photocopier I could give a template and an information handout on how to build a fabric pad. I do not have a sewing machine, so I usually do these kinds of works by hand. But it would be great if there were a sewing machine, so that someone could also show us how to sew the fabric. I will bring some already made examples anyways; in this way, we will have a chance to see the alternatives.  
This is just a framework as I said before. I am open to all kind of suggestions; please feel free to mention every detail that might be important for you.


organized by Sena

First, we could start by introducing ourselves one by one. Then I would talk about how I met with yoga and give general information on it. In the first 5 minutes of one and half an hour class, we do a short meditation and then continue with vinyasa flow (Chandra namaskar).Followingly, work on standing poses, balance a bit, and shift to the floor for on the ground poses. Lastly, we do the final 10 minutes relaxing session (şavasana) and finish the class. There is no need for previous experience. Both the ones who has never tried before and the ones doing it regularly can join at the same time.
It will be easy, flowing, and enjoyable workshop most probably. 


organized by Rüzgar

its been a long while since communication and broadcasting have been saved from the hands of corporate enterprises and reclaimed by the people for the people!!!  with the benefits of holly internet now its super easy to have your own webpage, your own blog and broadcast your own agenda to the world. blogging is the hippest new thing online which enables you to create content, write your own stories and news,  share pics and videos, connect with friends, and an endless pool of virtual procrastination you can wish for! and its not more complicated then checking your emails if you are using a corporate company like blogger! god save google!
in this workshop we will learn basic blogging; what is a blog - creating a blog - templates - posting - rss feeds - adding pics and videos etc. We would focus on blogger and bagyanfest blog, so the participants through out the festival can use it as a platform to write their own news and comments, share their experience and perception of the different workshops, add their own pics and videos, be the media them selves. 


organized by Rüzgar

who owns the streets? of course us! why not decorate it in the way we want? street art have evolved with the most basic need of communication and as a reaction to brain washing commercials and corporate shops in form of vandalism.
in this workshop we would learn how to prepare a basic stencil by photoshoping, working on different layers, cutting and of course spraying! 

Everyone can DANCE!!!

organized by Diane 

dance is the movement of a body in space and time.  everyone can do it.  and do it well.  dance is our unique way of moving our own body to express what words cannot.  everyone can do it. and do it well.  media teaches us that dance looks a certain way--the pirouette of a ballet dancer; the flutter of a ballroom dancer, but dance is so much more than that.  dance is your hand reaching out in yearning.  dance is your strut across a floor when  you're feeling good. 
we all have a body.  it moves.  and it can move in countless ways, expressing countless moods, feelings, desires and concepts. 
this workshop will help you get more in touch with your own body and the ways in which it is a tool for self-expression and a means of connecting to others.
In this workshop we will connect to one another and our own bodies by exploring the vast possibilities of movement that exisits for our arms, hands, knees, elbows, shoulders, legs, hips feet and head.  we will play with different rhythms and how our body wants to respond to them.  we will move in flowing styles and stacatto styles; we will explore moving at low levels and high, fast paced and slow.   We will contract and open, jump, hobble, and soar. 
You have a body. Let it sing! 


Organized by Zeyno

The workshop will include basic but essential Photoshop applications on making little changes on images like cutting, changing size, color, light, contrast level, rotating, distorting, disrupting, merging one image with another, playing with transparency, writing on image etc. Because of time limitation, it is not possible to explain all applications and features of the program. But I hope, getting into the basic, most useful tools, the participants will have enough knowledge to be able to play with the images, create posters, stickers and prepare visual materials for the blog afterwards. 

PS: In case someone has a specific interest on a certain application, here is my e-mail: 
zeynopekunlu@gmail.com. If you write beforehand, I can organize the workshop according to your demands.

Needs: A room with tables and electricity connection would be suitable. A beamer would make the explanation part easier. And as I said before, if participants bring their computers with them, they could repeat every action simultaneously, which is a better learning way. If they do not, then they could take notes and try later at home.
For the ones who do not have the program on their computer, we could provide a program cd before the workshop. 

Eco living in the city

Organized by Nazife and Ismet

Produce little, konsume little.

Seperate waste, make compost.

Home made natural detergant.

Collect waste oil.

Using paper and fabric bags.

Go shopping in bio shops.

Film Screening: 

Digital Stories From Amargi :  There are neither long nor short stories!

Note: The screening will be in Turkish, no subtitles unfortunately!

In collaboration with Hacettepe University Faculty of Communication, we ran two workshops of Digital Storytelling in Amargi in December 2009 and February 2010.

Fifteen women from Amargi told 15 digital stories out of their lives. Digital storytelling is a short and amateur form of  three minute storytelling in which everbody tells a story out of her life with her own voice by adding the images she wants and helping one another in a collective  workshop atmosphere.

The first original digital storytelling workshop in Turkey was organized in Amargi Women's Cooperative with the coordination of a group from Hacettepe University Faculty of Communication. We are aiming at utilizing digital storytelling as an alternative medium for giving a variety of women a voice, making their stories more visible, as well as organizing them.  The team who received training  for coordinating digital storytelling workshops in Hacettepe University Faculty of Communication will broaden as the women, who took part in Amargi workshops, voluntarily participate in future workshops, and gain experience. In Amargi Women's Cooperative and in collaboration with different women's organizations, we are aiming  at making more digital women stories and rendering them more visible through more workshops at different places and in various themes.

For detailed information: Burcu Şimşek, MA in Hacettepe University Faculty of Communication, Coordinator of Digital Storytelling Facilitator Team

Monday, March 22, 2010

Soli Party on Friday March 26

Come to enjoy yourself and support the Bagyan Feministival! The warm up party will take place in Lambdaistanbul on March 26. There will be a film screening at 7.30 p.m. and DJ Süreyya Hardcore playing at 9 p.m.. According to our recycling theme, everyone is invited to bring a small object that will be exchanged with others on the basis of donations.

This event will be open to people of all gender. Bring all your friends!!!
(There are rumors that Rüzgar is going to do a striptease which is not to miss...)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Women and Trans Photographers wanted!

For the photo workshop we are looking for experienced women and trans photographers. Please contact: bagyanfest@gmail.com.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sleeping Places

During the time of april 9-10-11 we would like to find sleeping places for festival participants from outside of Istanbul. If you have a free bed, couch, or mattress and would like to host somebody please send an email to: bagyanfest@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Feminist" men wanted!

We are looking for "feminist" men who can help us on April 9-10-11 2010 looking after the children, preparing food for the festival participants, and keeping the locations clean so that the women can have a relaxed festival!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

On “feminist men”...

On “feminist men”

After we made a call to feminist men for works like cleaning, childcare and cooking which needs to be done during the festival, there arose a subject that we as the organization group had never discussed, Could men ever become feminist? 
By believing that there is no generally accepted truth about this subject, we share a comment that is send to our e-mail group and invite everybody to discussion: 

I havent read the book, “ Feminism is for Everbody” but I take the content of this expression in that way : Feminism has a word for everbody. Everbody could find a word, a form of expression about himself / herself in feminism. In this context,  I  can respond to the question, “Can there be feminist man?”with another one “ Why not?” Because feminism has also a word for men in my opinion. However, with a final analysis, feminism is a struggle that is based on women’s liberation and, defends organization of women with women or with a broader expression, of the ones who go through womanhood experience with each other , for me. 
Owing to the researches of manhood for which feminism paved the way, today we know that  men are oppressed as well in different ways under the gender roles that society imposes on them. Objection to this is of course very important. As women’s questioning their “womanhood”s, men’s questioning their “menhood”s  by  men’s organization only with men will open the way for men’s liberation. 
At exactly this point, the question I wonder about is why men want to be feminist. In my opinion, feminism forms the most significant ideological line of the struggle with patriarchial system ; however, the only and unique way of struggle with patriarchial system is not feminism.
If men rebel against the roles which patriarchial system imposes on them – I think they should-, why don’t they define a struggle line for themselves? If they form such a struggle line, I believe, as feminists, our solidarity with the ones who struggle in this area and creating common works in intersecting agendas will enrich the liberation struggle of all of us. (Senem Donatan)