This term we have been working on the theme of War Paint, and what it means in the framework of what The Feminist Collective at Central stands for, namely
To work towards an intersectional feminism that recognises all genders and ages as we work collectively and artistically in pursuit of understanding and fighting against the patriarchal system.
We are aware that that sounds quite scary, but in essence we want to bring everyone together and have a good time while we air and talk through some of the harder things to talk about when we look at our daily lives. From catcalling to sex workers and from #metoo to discussing the role of men in feminism we actively listen and try to open up the discussions that aren’t usually had.
This term specifically we were interested in what we do when it’s all a bit too much, what are our defenses and our weapons when it comes to facing a situation we don’t feel equipped to face?
We were amazed at the level of response from students from a range of courses- we talked about a huge range of things from glitter and driving to comfort eating and changing our mannerisms to fit into a group that doesn’t feel comfortable. What we learned was that every single person uses these types of War Paint to get by in a variety of situations.
For me personally, Self Care (which we wittily titled ‘Taking Off Your War Paint’) was a huge part of this campaign. We offered guided meditation and period yoga alongside discussions on the ‘Self-Love Revolution’ and what that means for us as Theatre practitioners of various kinds.
I know Kirsty agrees with me that a large part of our time as leaders has been about pushing the idea of the collective as not only a place to debate and discuss our personal feminism but also as a space to offload and wind-down ready for the week ahead.
Launching War Paint on Monday was one of the proudest moments of my time here at Central. Seeing a Student Union Society that had only started one year previously take up space proudly at the very heart of the campus meant that the hard work put in by everyone involved would be seen by everyone that passes through, and that wouldn’t have been possible without the help from Jake, Rachel, Laura and Sian on the Student Union.
The process of putting the installation has strengthened old friendships and helped myself and others forge new ones, which is exactly what a Collective should do.
Looking forward, on Wednesday 29th November we’re holding the very first Feminist Christmas Party! Come along to the Backstage Bar from 7.30 for fun, games and dancing!
If you want more information please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Love and Solidarity, as always,
Kimberley Turford, on behalf of the Feminist Collective Leadership.