How We Attended a Feminist High School

Book Presentation

To celebrate the publication of How We Attended a Feminist High School by Vlasta Jalušic and her colleagues, the publishing house /*cf. and the City of Women Festival have prepared a special book presentation.
First things first: Where did the title come from? When the wars broke out in the former Yugoslavia, the author and some of her friends from were invited to visit Germany. There they listened to many lectures, mostly on war, violence and nationalism. Jalušic gave an interview for the Berlin paper Die TAZ, along with two friends from Croatia and Serbia. One of the questions was posed, with (typically European) amazement, was: How can these women speak to each other on friendly terms despite the wars that were tearing their former country apart? One of the women replied: ‘Don’t you know we attended a feminist high-school together?’ Indeed, in the eighties and nineties, at a time when feminism was no more welcome than it is today, quite a few women attended a feminist high school and practised feminism and its ‘mortal sins’ in public. This book speaks of that time and those women.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part consists of an overview and analysis of women’s groups and their political, social, and cultural activities. The author establishes that, during the period discussed, independent women’s groups in the former Yugoslavia encouraged and carried out many more activities than one might think, judging by the little attention these groups received. In the ‘transitional period’, they played an important activist and conceptualising role, and their actions produced, among other things, truly practical and more or less enduring achievements: for instance, intervention in the political pluralism and constitutional regulation of the Republic of Slovenia (Women for Politics group); organisations against violence (a hotline for women and children who are victims of violence); institutionalised results (the Women’s Policy Commission in the National Assembly, the Governmental Office for Women’s Policy); and the sensitising of the broader public to politically important questions that had previously been marginalised or even stigmatised (such as homosexuality and same-sex communities). The working methods, structure, and durability or transience of these groups reveal that they engaged in the same kinds of innovative activity that characterised the Western feminist groups that so influenced the methods and structures of other social and socio-cultural organisations.
In the second part of the book, interviews with fourteen women leaders from various feminist groups active in the eighties and nineties include questions about the beginnings of New Feminism in Slovenia, their personal feminist engagement, the formation of groups, new identities, conflicts, differences, and these groups’ influence on the broader political context. But these interviews constitute much more than just another historical sourcebook; they reflect the part of the past that wasn't making history and recall a time when it was impossible to believe that defeats could ultimately lead to victory.
The discussion with the author of the text and interviewees will be held by Zoja Skusek.

interviews: Milica G. Antic, Nives Brzic, Andreja Cufer, Mojca Dobnikar, Vlasta Jalusic, Metka Mencin, Mirjana Nastran Ule, Tanja Rener, Natasa Sukic, Dora Skerjanc Batelli, Renata Sribar, Suzana Tratnik, Lili Vucenovic, Darja Zavirsek.

In cooperation with: Cankarjev dom, Založba/*cf., Mirovni institut / The Peace Institute






Date and time of event: 
Oct 09th 12:00
Place of event: 
Cankarjev dom – E1