by Cunt Incognita (Fotze in Frankfurt am Main, 970 km from Budapest)
The photo is the outcome of two persons sharing realities, concerns, wishes and needs during a two day talk at EKH in Vienna. Post-it notes were put on a window and then moved around into groups, after which possible solutions were thought out. While sitting in the sun-light and posting notes Abba’s Knowing Me Knowing You was played in the background: “Knowing me knowing you, it’s the best I can do”.
So, a lot of personal-political stuff has been processed the last months. Close encounters with paranoid sexist exclusion of radical feminism within the Morze collective (Budapest infoshop) as well as having to deal with and figuring out what the hell jealousy – envy – and personal boundaries mean, while dealing with mental illness, as the natural response to facing shitty bullying behavior, and bad coping strategies such as heavy drinking.
(d) having tight working and intimate relations with persons who are fairly hostile and hateful towards me and my politics made me realize that free love is a beautiful concept, but not always possible to follow through in practice. Loving (d) would mean exposing myself to hearing about the dysfunctional relations she’s having with the people who hate me, and knowing myself, it would not be possible to accept the ignorant standpoint on just dropping the subject of sexism – exclusion – antiauthoritarian horizontal political practice that according to theory (at least) should be central issues for any self-proclaimed emancipatory project.
Loving (d) would – with the unwillingness of her kin to recognize that there’s a problem, and actively ignoring it and refusing to address it – well, loving her would for me in this case be some form of self-sacrificing torture – dealing with the damaged behavior of the people around us as well as having to deal with the following coping mechanisms of (d) including mental health problems and drinking. Trying to get a functioning relation with a person who is at the initial phases of dealing with her own sexism is hard enough as it is – and then taking on everyone she’s relating to leads to mental and emotional exhaustion.
(d) and I met in Vienna at EKH. We spent 2 and a half days together of constant talking. It was highly emotional. I spent the days crying, and turning to coffee and alcohol.
FEEDBACK: The thoughts that came after on what kind of improvements there could have been.
1) using a talking stick from the moment we met, in order to give space and time to think while speaking, and not get overwhelmed by emotion. (or at least use the stick when the conversation turns from small talk to triggering – emotional – heavy. we started using it only after a day or so)
2) a third person facilitating (cause i felt i was stuck in that role, even though i completely freaked out while drinking).
3) continuously speaking in “I”-sentences, owning our own feelings. Instead of “You make me feel…” say “I feel So&So when you do This&That cause I have a need for BlaBla”. (since we have differences in our thinking and feeling and behavior there were a lot of things that was triggering, easily leading to defensive distancing labeling talk like “psycho” and “idiot”)
this is the text I wrote as a summary of what had been coming up in the talks, and what we had agreed on doing. clarifications of timelines and such will be added after the next time (d) and i get to talk with oneanother.
THE DEAL [written by (C.I.Fotze)]
After a 2 month period of (Fotze) processing her life and experiences and feelings and needs openly and in a continuous flood to (d), who did not read, relate nor respond, there was a clear idea for both that something was not real about their mutual “let’s build community and share love together” fantasy.
Meeting in Vienna was a lot of sharing and endless repetition and frustration and hard earnest efforts to relate to the reality perception of the other in spite of conflicting feelings, needs and differing ideas of what’s real and what’s not – i.e. clashing personal politics. (For instance: How to relate to sexism).
(d) sees a future in making efforts in creating working – as well as personal intimate – relations with the persons involved in the Morze infoshop (Budapest), while (Fotze) finds the exclusionary anti-feminist environment, plus relating to (d) having physical intimate relations with the persons responsible for the exclusion and anti-feminist environment, damaging for her mental health. So…
Using a method where problems / concerns / ideas were put on post-it notes and then moved around and grouped into categories, it was easier to get an overview of how to talk about and eventually how to relate to the conflict and the dysfunctional communication between the two.
The common point – a functional working relation – turned out to be relating to the sexism (or (d) would probably more relate to the terms: exclusion and hierarchies) within the Morze infoshop collective – trying to move that process towards an open debate on what the common goals and what working methods this project should have.
(d) is relating to it because she feels related to the persons in the infoshop because of personal history and attachment, and also sees a future in some of the concrete practical projects related to it. (Fotze) is bothered by the open sexism expressed by many involved in the project and also that there’s been open authoritarian sexist attempts to exclude her from relating to the infoshop, plus blatant refusal to deal with this as a political problem afterwards. The combination of seeing sexism as something important to be dealt with within any emancipatory project, plus wanting to relate to (d) in a safe functioning way, led to minimizing the love relation to a collaboration on dealing with sexism (exclusion and hierarchies) within the Morze infoshop.
(d) will write to
– Indymedia Hungary
– The Morze infoshop mailing list
– Sosiaalikeskus blog
And also do a workshop on exclusion.
(Fotze) will encourage (d), (h), (mx), (v),(mr), (p) to have an open discussion on internal hierarchies on the sosiaalikeskus blog.
There will be a mutual talk / update on the progress of the conflict within the Budapest infoshop weekly, using calls, chat or worst case email (if there’s something specific happening then it can be summed up – jotted down on pieces of paper – and then shared at the weekly info thingy).
Possible changes in communication will be brought up continuously.