Feminist Duration Reading Group: A History of Arab Feminism

07 February 2017

Tue 7 Feb, 7pm
SPACE Mare Street

The Feminist Duration Reading Group focuses on under-known and under-appreciated feminist texts, movements, groups and struggles from outside the Anglo-American feminist tradition. Started at Goldsmiths, University of London, in March 2015, since July 2015 it has met at SPACE in Hackney. The group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7pm and is open to all. 

The next meeting of the Feminist Duration Reading Group will encompass a screening of the film Feminism Inshallah: A History of Arab Feminism, directed by Feriel Ben Mahmou, 2014 (55 mins)Feminism Inshallah looks at the history of the movement over the last 150 years across different Arab countries, accounting for the work of feminist pioneers as well as more recent activists during the Arab Spring. Although the film lacks a deep analysis of issues such as class and economic privilege, it draws on unreleased archival footage and multigenerational interviews to offer a vivid and comprehensive portrait of different movements. 

The struggle for Muslim women’s emancipation is often portrayed stereotypically as a showdown between Western and Islamic values, but Arab feminism has existed for more than a century. This groundbreaking documentary recounts Arab feminism’s largely unknown story, from its taboo-shattering birth in Egypt by feminist pioneers up through viral Internet campaigns by today’s tech-savvy young activists during the Arab Spring. Moving from Tunisia to Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, filmmaker and author Feriel Ben Mahmoud tracks the progress of Arab women in their long march to assert their full rights and achieve empowerment."

Women Make Movies film catalog 

This is the first of a two-part focus on Arab feminisms in the Feminist Duration Reading Group, led by Giulia Damaini. The next meeting, on Tue 7 March, will explore texts by Fatema Mernissi and Nawal El Saadawi.

If you would like to join the Feminist Duration Reading Group mailing list, please email feministduration@gmail.com


Now You Can Go

The Feminist Duration Reading Group on 1st December was the first in the Now You Can Go events series exploring feminist art, theory and activism that took place across The ICA, The Showroom, SPACE and Raven Row in December 2015.

Follow Now You Can Go on Tumblr and Facebook