A special post by Judit Abarca, FRIDA advisor for the Latin America and the Caribbean region. [Lee este blog en español]
In Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, one can feel young feminists’ strength, as they break public spaces in order to create new collective networks. Recently I had the opportunity to get to know the great work that Reflexion y Acción Feminista (RAF) have been doing since they organized in 2014.Demystifying feminism, sharing knowledge and feminist practices in different communities, activist, academic and urban spaces are just some of the awesome things they do.
RAF has been a FRIDA grantee partner since 2015. I was brought closer to this group, thanks to the wonderful accompaniment program of FRIDA. As a youth-led fund, FRIDA follows a funding-plus model, which basically means providing more than just money to young feminist groups, and actually accompanying them in their feminist journey towards equality and justice.
Together, RAF members and I “devirtualised”–seeing, listening and spending real time in harmony bringing us, sisters, closer. Furthermore, we also had a workshop on feminist self-defense, inviting members from RAF and beyond to attend, as we talked about different forms of violence that affect our bodies and strategies to counter them.
We also held critical dialogue sessions on creating stronger and locally broader alliances, as feminist activists in the region. Over 35 women, artists, rappers and activists, gathered to debate and talk. We expressed the need to meet regularly and dialogue about our own experiences regarding the complexities of collectives. We agreed that collectivity enables us to find a loving link and solidarity, and how nice it felt to have the freedom to be in a space with women with similar ways of thinking.
Time and again, I have realised and understood that activism can never be effective in isolation. There is an urgent need to move beyond the limitations of our own collectives and build connections, networks and solidarities. I felt proud to know RAF and to listen to the appreciation that other collectives in Merida have for their work and their aim to create a new movement and new feminist networks.
I take many lessons from it, possibly more than I could give them myself, and truly, that’s what it’s all about. An accompaniment is a process where we can listen, construct honest solidarity and create moments of joyful rebellion, where critical thinking is indispensable to real progress. I am so happy to see FRIDA create spaces and opportunities to do this. It is much needed in our movements and struggles!
Have you considered giving to FRIDA? Because your money will actually go into creating opportunities for young feminist groups to become better and sharper in their organizing. And remember: we are in this together.
Love and hugs,
Judit, on behalf of everyone at FRIDA 🙂