Mapping of feminist* activities and initiatives
The mapping project develops as part of the Centre’s primary research aims and constitutes the archival recording of feminist, female*, LGBTQI and queer femininities* initiatives which focuses on creating a relational public archive of the activities and practices of these groups.
For this purpose, a questionnaire, formed as an online google form, is sent to an initial sample of groups, which are selected based on their present activity in the extended cultural field. As part of the questionnaire, the initial groups are asked to propose initiatives to which the form could be further distributed.
The questions that the groups are asked to answer develop in three directions: their self-representation, the self-establishment within the language of gender studies and the possible encounters and interconnections with other initiatives.
In the first section of the questionnaire, the participants are asked to describe their points of departure and discuss their declarations through the ways that they define their practice. They are also asked to describe the terms under which they assembled in the first place, as well as how they deal with the sustainability of the team and its activities. Finally, they are asked to point their relation to other relevant initiatives and their practices, particularly in the context of new media technologies and their online presence.
The second section of the questionnaire focuses on matters of language, and the participants are invited to co-create a Glossary and suggest language terms and interpretations that are critical for their practice as well as the contemporary gender and feminist* movements.
Finally, in the third section of the questionnaire, the participants are asked to suggest possible points of encounter with the Centre as well as with other initiatives that could be part of this mapping process and this network of questions.
The proposed cartography functions as an alternative representation that attempts to highlight the stratification processes of the interconnection between the groups within, and from, a variety of layered ‘snapshots’ over time. In the distributed mapping project, the research, which starts from the questionnaire and its relational sharing in the ever-expanding network of contacts, further focuses on research practices that constitute figurations of situated positions and give priority to processes and network transformations.
An indicative example of the methodological stance of this archival research is the ‘snapshot’ regarding the question about opening the network of questions to other initiatives. This ‘snapshot’ maps the dynamics of the networked answers: it attempts to identify and map overlaps, densities, and retransmissions in the network of common responses, while observing how articulations are turning in new directions of interconnection, such as towards the feminist research; and applies the above in autonomous research and academic groups as well as in the spectrum of activism and more institutional initiatives. The temporality of the captured ‘snapshots’ is active; it is re-signified through revised cartographies while the original questionnaire can be modified, where needed due to new data derived from the research questions, leading to new ‘snapshots’.
The research method through the use of the questionnaire, poses an initial limitation due to the remoteness of the digital form in contrast to the face-to-face research practice. However, the online form is chosen as it allows, among other advantages, the necessary time required for the groups to form a common position that represents them. The difficulties that arise due to the virtuality of the contact form in order to participate in the research, as well as of the content sharing and the relationality of the archive, are nevertheless part of the Centre's research interests. In the case of participants’ non interest, they are also asked to share at the end of the questionnaire the reasons for non-acceptance, if possible. .
In regards to research ethics, the questions’ format is open, without directing or indicating possible attitudes to the participants. The groups are certified in advance for the exclusive research purpose of the questionnaire and their consent is sought in the research use as well as the online sharing of their answers.
It is important for the research to contribute not only to the archival mapping of these practices but also to the interconnection of autonomous practices that already exist in the feminist cultural field. The archival research acts as an attempt to understand and fill these gaps, in order to network and re-articulate discourses on gender issues and public space in the time of globalized technology and the visibility and empowerment that feminist practices acquire by exposing the terms of their own presence. In this direction we focus on the diffusion of the outcomes of the archival research, through presentations and publications that attempt to highlight the importance of mapping as a tool to produce a dynamic rhetoric on the issues of feminism, culture, creativity and innovation.
You can access the online questionnaire here
If you would like to be part of the Centre’s Archive, Please Contact us.