Central European Feminist School - 2nd edition

Based on the 1st edition of the School we plan to make some innovations. First of all, we plan to organise a side event in Cracow where we will host a public panel discussion with important female leaders from the movements fighting for freedom in the V4 countries in the 1980s. The possibility to exchange and discuss with leading female figures from the V4 region will bring inspiration for young women and may lead to their empowerment.

Call for participants in the Central European Feminist School Vol. 2

Overarching topic is "Resilience and Solidarity"

Where: Poland, Krakow

When: From 2nd to 6th August 2021
FB: Central European Feminist School

->->->The call is extended until 16.7. only for Slovakia and Poland.

Do you live in one of the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary or Poland)? Are you interested in participating in the Central European Feminist School / or in contributing to the programme of the Central European Feminist School?

Send us a motivation letter or a motivation video that includes the following information:

- Your name and surname, country, your educational and professional background;
- What experience of feminist activism do you have, if any;
- Why are you interested in participating?

- How many "relaxing/meditating/recreational" activities would you appreciate in the school's program?

We are expecting your reply by June 30, 2021 at the email address: eva.lukesova@gendernora.cz.

The participation in the event is free of charge for eight feminists between 18 years and 30 years of age from each of the four Visegrad countries. The summer school is inclusive and focused on values of tolerance, acceptation and non-violence. If you are an intersectional feminist of any gender, who lives by these values, we are happy to accept your application. Accommodation and board are covered and travel costs to the venue will be reimbursed.

The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.

The 1st edition of the School proved to be successful, it attracted more interest among young people in the V4 countries than had been originally foreseen. It offered young people (including 3 young men) from the region the opportunity to exchange skills and knowledge and to strengthen feminist networks in the region. The content of the School was firmly rooted in the V4 region and it tackled issues that are characteristic of this region. The importance of the School was highlighted by a presence of a representative of the European Women´s Lobby.

Second, we plan to focus more on an intergenerational dialogue. We envision to involve several participants of the 1st edition already in the preparatory phase of the 2nd edition. 5 alumni will take part in the preparatory meeting in Brno. In contrast to the pilot, senior experts from partner organisations will participate at the School for all its duration to enable an everyday exchange of ideas and experiences among young activists and more senior ones. Without inter-generational exchanges the women's rights movement is not able to replenish its agenda and organise for change.

What did the first-year alumni say about the school?


We are preparing the programme, but we can already tell you that there will be the following themes/areas:

  1. Workshop on sensitizing to how the media portray societal problems
  2. Creative workshop - stitching techniques, guerrilla campaign
  3. Feminist strikes and the resilience
  4. Women, speak up!
  5. Competence mapping workshop
  6. Make-up workshop - self-realization
  7. Solidarity and Fine art
  8. How to raise the visibility of women in the media
  9. Women´s representation in the cinematography
  10. Cinematic representation of traumas and taboos

You can look forward to:

  • 12 workshops,
  • 5 gender experts
  • 5 alumni from the first year of school
  • 32 feminist friends
  • 1 panel discussion
  • 5 important female leaders from the movements fighting for freedom in the V4 countries in the 1980s.

Results of Solidarity and fine art workshop led by Eva Lukešová

Kiki Smith - Marie Magdalena


Mary Magdelene (1994), a sculpture made of silicon bronze and forged steel, features a woman's nude body in an untraditional way: her whole body is flayed, skin removed to show bare muscle tissue. However, her face, breasts and area surrounding her navel remain smooth. She wears a chain around her ankle and her face is relatively undetailed and is turned upwards. Smith's sculpture Standing (1998), featuring a female figure standing atop the trunk of a dead Eucalyptus tree, is a part of the Stuart Collection of public art on the campus of the University of California, San Diego.


we wanted to encourage women by reclaiming the symbol of a chain and presenting it as an empowering sexual symbol. we were trying to remove the focus from body parts which symbolise reproduction, we added clothes to remove the exposedness, and we focused on the lips which symbolise personal agency and ability to speak up for yourself. so basically we switched te focus from the corpse to the face. we used a red carpet instead of a grey metal postament. the colour grey is often associated with insignificance, but the color red is highlighting the person standing and is also a color of sexuality.

Authors: Nora Fanni, Ábrai (Hermelin), Barbora Dolezalova, Sabina Snizkova, Tatiana Vajsová, Karolina Ufa

Héla Ammar


"In a society where the body remains a taboo and is kept hidden, Héla Ammar works to make it visible, to set it free and to allow the flush of lively memories. The latter are particularly vivid in the new photographs series entitled "Body Talks" (2018), for which the artist offered the unique portrait of a generation of Tunisian activists.These bodies in motion, with anonymous faces, covered with scarves called "hindia" with flamboyant patterns of coloured flowers surprise, disturb and intrigue. Under theses scarves, there are regular media faces, men and women fighting for liberties and whom Héla Ammar kept anonymous. A true challenge for the artist as well as for her models ; the task consists of revealing a political, social body crossed by History, laws, hopes and disillusions, euphoria and anger rather than figures known from wide public. As complicity and trust are forged, body language releases its inhibition, allowing the dawning of wounds, fragility, but also strength and courage of these bodies challenging violence, discrimination and daily life unfairness. ...

by Sonia Recasens, Curator and Art critic"


In the society where the body remains a taboo and is kept hidden, we wanted to present how the society imposes those taboos and limitations on us. The bodies are not only anonymous, but also helpless and full of shame. The hands represent the repressive society who forces us to feel ashamed of who we are. What can make us feel empowered is solidarity, resilience, sisterhood and mutual support. The last two pictures show the possibility to transgress social boundaries and how to beak out of the taboos and subordinate roles.

Authors: Agnieszka Wiśniewska, Magdalena Dziurzyńska, Milka Lexis, Paulina Rzymanek

Kerry James Marshall

"If you walk into any magazine store, I guarantee that nine out of 10 covers will feature white, blonde, blue-eyed, slim women because that’s still the ideal of beauty. When a black or Asian figure shows up in a fashion magazine, she’s the exception, not the rule. So what does that mean when we talk about equality? To me, equality means that I would be as likely to see black figures as anybody else.

Not only that, but their skin tone is strikingly uniform: ebony-dark, with an attractive, satiny sheen. The blackness of my figures is supposed to be unequivocal, absolute and unmediated,” Marshall explains. “They are a response to the tendency in the culture to privilege lightness. The lighter the skin, the more acceptable you are. The darker the skin, the more marginalised you become. I want to demonstrate that you can produce beauty in the context of a figure that has that kind of velvety blackness. It can be done.”"

The idea behind this picture was to unite us - as individuals - through our uniqueness. The original painting aimed to challenge the racist portrayal of Black people in the media. With this being an issue we can't relate to, we intended to pay homage, especially to the artistic side. The six different colors representing us were selected from the portrait. Even though it wasn't our initial purpose, the final photo then resembles mosaics, artworks so present in the Central and Eastern European cultural tradition.

Authors: Klára Jašková , Agata Miętus, Hanna Wágner, Jana Sosnová, Zsófi Kosiba and Radka Filipska

Frida Kahlo - Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird


"Today, Kahlo is remembered for being a woman who broke all social conventions. Her defiance against needing to fit in is nothing less than admirable - both back then and even now. Even Madonna - the great feminist of our time - has said that she admires Kahlo. The American singer-songwriter's Bedtime Story video has lots of imagery inspired by the surrealist movement and is filled with references to the works of Kahlo.

She refused to alter her features. These included her mono-brow and faint moustache, which were labelled as inappropriately "masculine". She even exaggerated them more in her self-portraits. Nevertheless, Kahlo was not afraid to be herself - a woman. She embraced colours, wearing bright and bold dresses, as well as not thinking twice about adorning herself with flowers and ribbons."

Self-Portrait in the Jungle of Solidarity (2021)

This masterpiece has been described as symbolism at its feministest. The artistress experimented with many activists, but eventually animals seemed to be the best colleagues, as they really believed in gender equality. This painting captures the emblematic day, when women were allowed to eat bananas without being harassed by human males for this act. The snake on the right is the past gazing upon the empowered artistress - the protagonist of the painting - who is proud to be an ally of the biggest banana eater on the world: monkeys. The two moths are the embodiment of the two opposing side of her soul: rebellion and obedience. The hummingbird necklace is the wordly embodiment of the artistress, who depends - hangs - on the chain of patriarchal society.

Authors: Csenge Ilyés, Andrea Hermanová, Petra Kaminek and Viktória Szekér

Genderové informační centrum NORA, o.p.s. www.gendernora.cz

Slovensko-český ženský fond www.womensfund.sk/sk

Hungarian Women's Lobby noierdek.hu

Women's Foundation eFKa https://efka.org.pl/

Project coordinator: Eva Lukešová