Peripheral view

Ana Woolf

Reconstruction Women’s Fund, within the program of feminist philanthropy, through interviews with women who inspire and motivate us, gives you an opportunity to hear about various art practices, festivals and initiatives. You can also hear their reflections on the importance of our assembling, meeting, creating and changing! Ana Woolf from Argentina is a pedagogue, actress, director. Co-founder and art director of the network Magdalena – Second generation, Latin-American network of women in contemporary arts.

We know her: she was couple of times the guest in Belgrade and Serbia, and the most recent precious experience with her we had within our program Roma Girls’ Solidarity where in common workwith Vera Ribeiro, artist from Brazil and the feminist art group Act Women from Belgrade a theater performance Presence in Life was created and performed in The Puppet Theater in Nis and in Roma settlements in Vlasotince and Pirot.

This is Ana’s message:

Why is it important that we organize feminist festivals and gatherings?

I think it’s important to organize women’s festivals first to put us women on the stage, in the center, with our body and our voice, so as to build a presence to live out and beyond the stage. I also think it’s important to talk about why we do this work, in order to find help and to be exposed to other points of view… What I am looking for in a women’s festival is to be checked, to show my work and to receive feedback that will show me if and when I am repeating a gender model that I have been learning since I was born and didn’t realize it. So, if I show my work in a mainstream festival, I don’t have this kind of feedback and this “check”, as I call it, coming from other women. It is very easy to fall down into a linguistic structure – using the male subject or just unconsciously repeating male models. So, this is important for me – the center of the stage, to be present with our body and voice and also to confront a female audience and be checked. That’s important.

Why do you think it’s important to invest money into women’s human rights and arts?

Because I think there is a lot of money invested in male stuff like war, weapons, and if half of this money could be invested in women’s rights probably the world would be different, childhood would be different, there would be less misery and poverty – and we would have to fight less for survival. We do thousands of things, we have three plus jobs per day, it would be a good thing to be able to concentrate our energy in protecting ourselves… economic protection is like a house.

What do you think about feminist foundations, particularly local ones? Do you think it’s important to have them?

They are like a home, even if I/we don’t use their support… they are places where we can go to women we know when we need help – to feel protected from violence or to get help to do an artistic project. Usually when you ask for money from the usual institutions they put conditions about subject, esthetics, ethics… But there are places where perhaps I can ask for money and they will not ask me to control my speech nor question the subject I want to speak about.

What is a concept of solidarity for you?

Solidarity for me is to have a peripheral view. It is going further from your obligation… it’s to be able to live your life with compassion and the root of compassion is “con/with passion” ……

 What does this obligation mean?

To be able to go out/away from your belly – to have this peripheral view – that is, I am with me but conscious of the one who is beside me, not like a serpent rolled into myself.

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