Feminism forum to stimulate discussion

An open forum on Feminism in the 21st Century will be the inaugural event organised by the mNemosyne: South Coast Women’s Journal collective taking place on Wednesday, July 26, in Bega.

The forum will bring together a varied panel of local thinkers and academics to open up the conversation around the meaning and relevance of feminism for regional Australians today.

Organiser Jodie Stewart said the feminist group has been grappling with the concept of what feminism means to members and the forum was a way for them to find out how other people define feminism and its relevance for them.

“As rural women with a commitment to raising the voices of all women on the South Coast, we understand that feminism is an important issue and deserves a chorus of voices,” she said.

“The forum panel consists of an exciting mix of local people of varied backgrounds and ages and we expect they will stimulate some thought-provoking discussions.”

Panel members include Dr Annie Werner, Tasman Fitzer, Indigo Walker and Lorna Findlay and the forum will be chaired by Ms Stewart, PhD candidate and tutor at University of Wollongong, Bega.

Dr Werner is head tutor in the Faculty of Arts at the Bega campus of the University of Wollongong. She is also passionate about food ethics, food sovereignty and sustainable farming, and enjoys the emotional, ethical, ideological, political, sexual and social challenges of inhabiting a non-reconstructed post-breast-cancer body. 

Tasman Fitzer will join young entrepreneur and writer Indigo Walker on the panel.  Indigo is the founder of local business Topsy-turvy Intimates, which makes underwear out of recycled materials.

Lorna Findlay is a feminist historian who studied law in Melbourne in the 1980s and then worked in the field of domestic violence. Her research interest lies in the development of and division within 2nd and 3rd wave feminism. She hopes to investigate the similarities and shared beliefs that remain and whether feminism has lost its political voice.

“We hope to see a cross-section of the community come along and contribute their perspectives,” Ms Stewart said.

mNemosyne: South Coast Women’s Journal was founded earlier this year with the aim of creating a collaborative publication space for women connected to the NSW South Coast.

Collective member Noe Lumby said even though it’s a tricky title to pronounce, the name of the journal fits perfectly.

“Mnemosyne was the Greek goddess of memory and mother of the Muses who inspired creative endeavours in literature, science and the arts,” she said.

“Our journal will reveal the stories, opinions, research and creative work of all South Coast women.”

More information about the journal, including an example of how to pronounce mNemosyne can be found at www.mnemosynejournal.org.

The Feminism in the 21st Century Forum will be held on Wednesday, July 26, at the University of Wollongong Bega campus running from 5-7pm and is open to the general public.

Light refreshments will be provided and entry is by gold coin donation with all funds raised going towards the publication of mNemosyne’s first hardcopy edition.

RSVP to southcoastwomen1@gmail.com by Monday, July 24, or book tickets online at www.mnemosynejournal.org/events.