FemArt, the feminist festival starting with a Stand-Up comedy, it must be fun, right? Some would say, aren’t they the “serious, radical” feminists who know no jokes, do feminists tell jokes after all? Well, be ready to laugh I would say, maybe learn something on the way…and maybe get hurt a bit, but, enjoy it, it is a joke, okay! Yes, that’s how we started FemArt this year, laughing! Laughing with jokes and stories that hurt each of us, laughing and getting mad at ourselves, why are we laughing after all, isn’t it so sad? FemArt started in the most revolutionary possible way, presenting the first female Stand Up comedian in our small country with so many male comedians, YES, I said it finally. Finally, I can write about a female Stand Up comedian in Kosovo.
I was sitting there nervous as I was the one standing in front of the public. I was ready to enjoy the sarcasm from a woman who decided to speak out through humor about all the challenges we face on a daily basis in our society for the simple fact of being a woman. I was laughing and remembering all the situations I was in, what an uncomfortable laugh. What about the people who were the protagonist of the stories, was any of them in the public, were they laughing? But, that’s the beautiful thing about Stand Up comedy, making you feel uncomfortable even with your laugh, making you think, and hopefully making you change in the end. Comedians around the world used Stand Up as their voice to speak out, to protest the things they couldn’t protest in any other way, they used this space given to them to tell more than a joke, to tell a joke that wasn’t a joke. This was happening last night, there was Agnesa, a young brave woman from Kosovo, an activist whom you will see in every protest raising her voice against injustices, a hardworking woman working to improve the education in our country.
Agnesa started by bringing one of the issues that most of us faced in our families, we are never good enough to change their opinions. Sad reality, but it is how it is. She emphasized that the most difficult task is to change our families, especially in the mentality we live in. TV, this magical box, whatever it’s in there is better than us. As Agnesa said, it’s all about God and men, what a strong coalition. Most of the time a coalition against women, unfortunately. Women and men should fear the God, but women should fear God and men. When Agnesa was talking about the LGBTQI community, she mentioned how she wasn’t aware of the “jokes” about this community until she has participated in a workshop abroad, only then she was able to understand the microaggressions and the way they were always covered as jokes. The Stand Up finished with a strong message that we need to work hard on challenging the social norms, especially gender norms, and recommending that each of us can and should contribute in all the forms they can to make the environment we live in a better one for us and for others to come.