Feminist Lab 3.0

In 2019, we talked about public space as a feminist issue. In the third edition of Feminist Lab in 2020, we talked about the dimension of time as a feminist issue.

Who has time? Do you have time? Which time do we want to go to? What is it time for?

Feminist Lab 2020 omslag

Friday was all about define & discover. This meant not only getting to know the other participants, but also exploring the time we are living in now and how the participants are positioning themselves in it.

After some introductory exercises, we organised the World Café. In a World Café there are several tables, with up to 5 participants at each table, and there are several rounds where the groups discuss a certain question. After a round everyone moves to a new table with other participants. Everyone brings with them the baggage from a previous table, and the end result is that the participants feel they have spoken to everyone.

After an intense first day of define & discover, we continued with the discover phase on Saturday morning. We organised a fairly extensive session on 'Leadership in times of complexity'. After the theoretical part, the participants went into one-on-one conversations to talk about the Badass Feminist they had chosen. We had given the participants a task in preparation for Feminist Lab: they had to choose a feminist they find particularly badass and whom they look up to. During the discussions, the participants thought mainly about the qualities of their badass feminist that were needed to initiate change.

In the afternoon, two peer-to-peer workshops were organised. Rebecca van Sluijs organised a workshop about the history of feminism in Belgium, Maysa Mariposa organised a workshop about ecofeminism.

We ended Saturday with an Open Space, which brings us into the dream phase. In the Open Space, the participants got the chance to determine the agenda themselves and they could choose what and with whom they wanted to talk.

On Sunday, we started the day with a walk from the hotel to Amazon, Crossroads Gender Equality. The participants walked in pairs. The Walk in Pairs is a listening and telling exercise. The participants take turns speaking for ten minutes, telling about how they got here (at Feminist Lab). The other person listens, and after the ten minutes tells what struck her about her story. The evaluation has already shown that this walk had a great impact on the participants: many felt even more connected.

So the Walk in Pairs was the ideal session to start the last day with, since on Sunday we would be talking about building a community - The Next Wave.

For this, we first did a brainstorming session, in which the participants thought about the characteristics of a community they would like to be part of, about the things the community could contribute for them, and about the things they could contribute to the community.

After this, we really got down to business with the Project Lab. Three participants and Caroline (staff member of the Women's Council) put a project on the table. The other participants then joined the four project leaders to give their input and feedback on the project.

After Project Lab, Feminist Lab gradually came to an end. Before closing Feminist Lab, we had a short evaluation moment.

We ended Feminist Lab with some sort of a closing ceremony. We passed a ball of wool, to form a circle with everyone. When passing on the ball of wool, everyone indicated what they promised themselves after the weekend. At that moment, the secret buddy also made themself known. We had introduced the secret buddies at the beginning of the weekend. Everyone had someone they had to keep an eye on, and then at the end of the weekend, they could give that person a compliment, say what they appreciated, what they wished for that person... This was such a heartwarming and emotional moment, which makes us believe that we succeeded in our goal, which was to create a bond between young feminists!