Women

Feminist Lesbian Activist Lepa Mladjenovic of Serbia Soon in Ankara!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
On March 16, Serbian feminist lesbian and anti-war activist Lepa Mladjenovic will be in Ankara as the guest of Kaos GL’s International Feminist Forum.
 
Lepa Mladjenovic will be in Ankara on March 16 as the guest of the International Feminist Forum to speak on lesbian existence during war times, women’s solidarity against fascism and nationalisms.
 
Mladjenovic is the co-founder of many organisations and networks, among them Serbia’s Women in Black, as well as Arkadia and Labris. She is also the winner of this year’s Anne Klein Award. Her work focuses on sexual political violence in war and peace, prevention of violence, and trauma work.
 
Mladjenovic will talk on her decades-long experiences on surviving as a woman, as a lesbian during the war regime in Serbia and nationalisms that the region has suffered.
 
Notes of a Feminist Lesbian in Anti-War Initiatives
“I was a woman with a Serbian name in Serbia, in Belgrade, throughout the territory of Yugoslavia, from 1991 to 1999, engaged in antifascist activism and, at the same time, I was a lesbian.
 
I understood that the war has deepend the meaning of my lesbian existence. Writing it meant getting out of the choking nationalist and fascist realities and stating that there are lesbians living in the war zones and war effected regions like mine. From the time the regime in Serbia became openly fascist, the public space for lesbians –which never really existed- diminished even furhter.”
Lesbian love-making during war times: Inappropriate?
“At times, I would be making love to a woman and the radio would announce the latest news from the frontline. I would be in bed and not know what I should do. Should I get up from the warm bed and leave my lover, turn off the raido and continue our pleasure? I am a lesbian, I am of Serbian name, how can I turn off the radio? Human beings, my neighbors are being slaughtered in my name and I must know about that. If I do not turn off the radio, there is no more love-making today, only my deep sadness at the terrible news from Bosnia and Herzegovina. I would light another cigarette in bed and make another coffee for both of us. Do I show respect to the dead by not turning off the radio? Is lesbian love-making in that very moment inappropriate? And why? I was torn by these feelings, these contradictions, my body was hurting all over.”
 
* This article has been written with parts of “Notes of a Feminist Lesbian in Anti-War Initiatives”, The European Journal of Women’s Studies, 8 (2001) 3, pp. 381-92.

    

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