Connecting The Feminist And Queer Movements Through Digital Storytelling
Saif is a feminist and queer activist of Tunisia. They are 22 years old and as a teenager began their activism with local associations and movements that provide safe spaces to feminist and queer activists to connect, organise and speak against sexual harassment and discrimination in a very conservative society. Saif is an active member of associations like Maujodine and the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, and movements like Ena Zeda, which is the Tunisian version of #MeToo, and Falgatna, which is the adaptation of the Chilean anti-rape anthem ‘A rapist in your path’. After a series of attacks targeting them and comrades of the movement because of their gender or sexual orientation, Saif started to think about strategies to highlight the stories and experiences of the queer and feminist community in Tunisia using the power of social media and storytelling. Before starting their engagement with the Lab, they created a book with text and images about cis-women rights and trans people taking an activist approach. With the Lab, Saif decided to take this support to test an idea around creating a documentary with a series of interviews with well-known feminists in different sectors of society from Tunisia such as Sophie Bessis. Using Instagram and Facebook channels, in less than a year the account @feministes.v.v gained more than 2000 followers and the attention of local media and international donors. Throughout the year developing the documentary, Saif realised the value of their networks to secure well-known and very diverse guests; their talent to create a safe space for the interview to become an inspiring conversation for the viewers; and the progress they were doing at a personal level to feel more comfortable in front of a camera, work under pressure, manage a project and their time. Besides being a great resource for Saif’s advocacy, it became a great personal and professional growth opportunity.
“Saif’s video clips are a space that represented a learning, sharing and capitalization space in a time of cyber and physical attacks against feminism and feminists in Tunisia and across the globe. To me the episodes are a way to explore new ways of activism through media and artistic performances using innovative and ground breaking tools.” - Malek, a Tunisian feminist activist who watched Saif’s episodes ‘Feministes Voie/s et Voi/x’.
Movement: #MeToo Tunisia
Organisation: Mawjoudin We Exist and Tunisian Association of Democratic Women
Mawjoudin (we exist) is a tunisian youth-led association that fights for equality and rights of LGBTQI++ people. Why Mawjoudin? Mawjoudin, because in Tunisia there is still a law that criminalizes a consenting relation between two adults of the same sex. Mawjoudin, because being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex in Tunisia in intolerable. Mawjoudin, because in Tunisia having sex with a person of the same sex is punishable by 3 years of prison. Mawjoudin, because homosexuality is condemned in a largely homophobic society. This homophobia is nourished by the prejudices and social standards which can lead to the persecution of the LGBTQI++ persons. What are our objectives?
- To create a space to offer psycho-social support for victims of homophobia and violence
- To offer a place to share experiences among members of the community
- To offer trainings for our members and to make them aware of their rights
- Advocacy to abolish the article 230
- Documentation and denunciation of violations of LGBTQI++ rights