“Jeg vil vende tilbage til markerne,
for at finde de tabte spor.
Jeg vil standse og lytte til fuglene,
mens min fod sinker dybt i jord.
For jeg føler en længsel så klar og stærk
at den bryder min hverdagsring.
Jeg vil hjem til de steder jeg kommer fra.
Til de første, de sande ting.”
“I will return to the fields,
to find the lost path.
I will stop and listen to the birds,
while my foot goes deep down in the earth.
Cause I’m feeling a longing so clear and strong,
it breaks my everyday life.
I want to return to the places, I come from.
To the first, the real truth.”
Text: Grethe R. Thomsen, 1950
Welcome to international week, 2018
This is an invitation to come together for a week by the sea, in the world’s oldest womens’-camp on the island of Femø:
to make holidays and relax on the beach
to enjoy the company of other women
to do workshops with different themes
to join talking groups; Femø style
to talk, laugh, cry, sing and party
to enjoy the beautiful nature
to watch the sun rise and fall and sit by the fire
to work together and do sports
and many other things
International week is a special week; Women are coming from all kinds of places, -sometimes travelling a long way, bringing different views and experiences in the camp. Because of the different languages we are bringing into the camp and our wish to communicate in an inclusive way, a whole new language arises: Femø English. There is no need to speak fluent English and we use our creativity to be open and understand each other.
There is a spirit of empowering ourselves as all kinds of women. The feminist history of Femø is still brought into action.
Theme for International week 2018
Feminism in 2018
2018 is a difficult year not only in geo-politics and for social movements:
The Middle East is an ever expanding war zone, a profit haven for the military industries, while those fleeing bombs and destruction are reflected at the borders of fortress Europe. Racism and neo-Nazism is spreading in Europe and the US, while urgent environmental and climate issues are largely ignored.
Feminists, lesbians and queer women* have (under different names) been active in anti-war movements since the first women’s movement. We have a long history of engagement in environmental struggles and movements against social injustice, for instance in the US American Civil Rights movement, as Suffragettes fighting for the right to vote, as social scientists pointing out the horrendous conditions of the working class. Resistance to these activisms was often severe; sometimes leading to attacks, incarceration or murder – building on a tradition of misogyny, racism and heterosexism that was established during the witch hunts of the 16th to 18th century.
Connected to this theme, a talking group is offered about feminism today.
(Read more about the talking group further on. If the theme is inspiring to offer another workshop/talking group, this will be very welcome.)
All for one, one for all
On Femø womens camp, everyone is part of getting things done.
Everyone creates the atmosphere and helps making the camp run by bringing their skills and knowledge.
All the activists are volunteers. They all work behind the scenes during the year and some of them form the activist group in the camp.
The camp does not provide medical help. There is a doctor on the island, who can help if needed. There is no electricity on camp. Femø gives the perfect opportunity to slow down and enjoy the ‘simple’ life.
It is important that everyone feels welcome and at the same time, is aware of their own role in the bigger picture.
The participants are taking on tasks, like doing dishes or cooking dinner.
The tasks, which are also contributing to getting to know each other, are done in groups and takes an average of two hours per day.
All participants are welcome to offer a workshop, a talking group or any other activity during the week. You can also contact us before the week starts, if you have an idea already now, so we can add your activity on the website.
The ”Femø style – talking groups” are always part of the week. There is offered a talking group connected to the week theme, but if the theme inspires you to also offer another idea of workshops or talking groups, please join in. You can participate in talking in rounds about your own experiences; each woman is being listened to, putting together a big picture, instead of discussing a topic controversial.
There is time and space for both being by yourself and being social. Every night there is a common meeting where we all gather.
International week is mainly a vegetarian week. If you have any special food needs, please be aware that the camp has limited possibilities. We try to be as inclusive as possible with the different food needs, but we are on a small island with only a little harbor shop and get pre-ordered supplies for every separate week send from Copenhagen.
The women on the camp make all the food in groups. We work in relatively primitive conditions (no electricity) and are depending on the women’s creativity to make the recipes work.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the food.
There is a max of 12 children on the week. Boys are allowed until they turning 12.
We try every year to have volunteers for the children activities, who provide activities for the kids for some hours after breakfast.
It can be quite a challenge for mothers /caretakers to, at the same time, be there for your children, take part in camp tasks, the activities and social life in the camp.
The wish is that both women and children feel embraced and supported in the camp. This should be possible with the help of each other.
More information about International Week
Workshops and talking groups already planned for 2018
Talking group: Feminism 2018, by Karin and Nanda
Today activism is once again desperately needed! Women* are volunteering to ease the horrendous conditions in refugee camps, (such as by the group “Dirty Girls of Lesvos”), the patriarchal rape culture is called out (for instance by the #MeToo campaign), the police killings of African Americans in the US is targeted (e.g. by “Black Lives Matter”) and queer* organizations seek to raise awareness for the worldwide rampant murders of transgender people (especially transwomen).
This week on Femø we will be reflecting on questions related to today’s feminist, lesbian and queer women’s*activism: Are we doing enough? Have we become too complacent, comfortably clicking our support on Facebook, while watching “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on Netflix? What about solidarity? What about caring for animals, plants and the livelihood of the planet? How are we interacting with other activist groups? And how are we supporting each other in a world of interconnected discriminations and oppression? Lastly, what is happening to us, while all this is happening, what effects does it have on us, our minds, our spirits, our bodies, our friendships, our interactions and our identities?
Talkinggroup: Search for traces, by Katrin and Eva
Some women know more, some less about their family biography. If we were concerned with our families history, many of us would feel drawn to burdensome issues. We know and sense the fears and what is releasing guilt and shame and we are in touch with this conciously or uncounciously.
We often lose sight of the joyful and indulgient features, issues and figures of our family or think they do not exist. Maybe nobody has told us something about the joyful, brave and inspiring members of our family or we have not asked about them.
There might be a mysterious figure about whom many roumours and stories were told about or there were characters who gave us warmth and are delightful or just interesting.
There might be someone who only exsists as a picture in our phantasy.
In this way we are able to create a history of our family which can also be completed by the stories of others.
We would like to talk in rounds in the classic Femö style. Therefore it might be usful to have fixed speaking times to keep the narrative running.
The announcement here on the website might inspire you to do some previousresearch before or join us at the beginning of the International Week.
Carving workshop, by Ragna
Ragna will introduce some tools to work with wood. You start with basic carving, where she will show different ways of using the knife. You learn how to make a ball and a cube out of a wooden stick. Those basics will make it possible to do all things, from carving a little spoon to making an animal or a figure. In Ragnas perspective, the joy of working with wood can bring a meditative state of mind and a creative way of solving a challenge. The purpose is to enjoy the process, no matter what comes out of it.
We look forward seeing you on the island!!
Contact and information concerning the International Week.
Here you can get answers on your questions and pass on your ideas for workshops.