If I were to choose the three things that changed my life while growing up, they would be art, activism, and feminism. This might sound too platonic for most of the people, but believe me, it’s not! It is actually the most realistic and practical thing you can think of. Growing up in a patriarchal society where my way of thinking and my personality were foreseen to be heavily impacted by men “the rulers” of the family, surviving as an individual that does not fit within the system and especially as a woman was a challenge itself. Hence, art, in particular, helped me to survive the teenage years, finding myself within that social chaos (which unfortunately remains the same in so many ways), and understand that I am much more than just a physical body. Through activism, I felt I belonged somewhere and I could always do something and be part of the change instead of being the audience only. Feminism keeps giving me the answers I need to understand why the diversity among people is a challenge instead of something to cherish among us. Feminism helped me to understand the fight for equality of people besides their gender or any other category of identity even before the term itself was actual. Art gave me a soul that I often thought I lost it, activism gave me a voice, and feminism gave me the reasons to keep fighting for the equality. They made me what I am today, they made me FEARLESS.
Now think of a festival bringing all of the three in one place, think of a festival bringing artists and activists from around the world in a small country such as Kosovo. Think of a festival giving space to all women to whom art has always been unfair in the public sphere, whose work have always been shadowed by men in our society. FemArt is doing this for the 5th time this year! As in the four last editions, once again FemArt is bringing art, activism, and feminism in one place. FemArt more than a festival, is a journey of fearless women, is a protest of those who did not have a voice, is a mission to bring art, activism and feminism together and bring each of them closer to people, is a movement of fearless women, who came together and created a space for all other fearless women who create art, raise their voice and make changes in our society, women who support other women and all the people that felt left alone and discriminated for who they are.
Women throughout the history have been unfairly treated in the public sphere in many fields such as art and activism. Their war for justice have been constant but their contribution for most of the time was left unknown. It is impossible to read the Albanian history without acknowledging women’s role in the struggles for freedom and their cause in spreading the Albanian culture in the global levels. Women such as, Qerime Halil Radisheva known as Shote Galica, as one of the revolutionary women in the Albanian history, Sevasti Qiriazi a woman who fought for the education of girls during the 90s, Musine Kokalari a politician and prose writer of the pre-communist period, Elena Gjika a Romantic and feminist writer. These and many more women made the history even though not many of us acknowledge them. FemArt among others is about women who are making the history, women who are raising their voices is about women as Shuki, Maja, Nataliya, Vjollca, Venera, Camilla, Margarita, Farah Agnesa, Adelina, Rreze, Ivana, Ksenija, Valbona and many others that are speaking, singing, dancing in their unique ways to bring the art, activism, and feminism to everyone. This edition is bringing the artistic work of artists around the world, after a careful selective process with the goal to present the best of the work for its public. Among others, the public of FemArt will have the chance to enjoy the concert of our special guest Farah Siraj, her spiritual jazz with flamenco and Arabic motifs, it is a rare occasion for us to have her in Kosovo. Moreover, we are bringing different workshops of important issues such as the reproductive and sexual health of girls and women. For poetry lovers, FemArt is the place for you to enjoy nights with poems by different artists. Those who are eager in finding the relations of art with technology, we are bringing Doku-Tech talking about art inspiring the technology. Moreover, we are having exhibitions such as Premier Termokiss, from a young and avant-garde artist. Among more than 4o events FemArt is bringing concerts, performances, artistic plays presenting social issues gender-based based violence, a panel of discussion about LGBTQI community members challenges in the region. You have the chance to enjoy each of the events for free and feel the love and the energy, and never forget that women made and will always make the change. We need to speak for those who can’t, we need to create a space for those who need, we need to tell the world who we are and what can we do, we need to come together and spread love and this is what FemArt is all about.