by Eugenia Tovar, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

by Eugenia Tovar, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

ELLA: Latina American Feminism Encounter - Encuentro Latinoamericano Feminismos LatinoAmericano.

28 Dec, 2018

by Eugenia Tovar, La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"It is not easy to be a woman, but much less is to be a woman, indigenous and above all, a human rights activist," said Mapuche (indigenous community from South America), Ivana Huenelaf in one of the events of the Latin American Encounter of Feminisms this month in La Plata, Argentina. This event came to annoy the hegemonic and white feminism that seems to be growing stronger each year; to celebrate the multiplicity of looks within a complex movement.

ELLA was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2014 with the participation of 100 people from 8 countries. The following year this festival moved to Bolivia where more than 300 people participated. In 2016 they converged on ELLA LATAM where 8 countries made national editions and generated Movimenta: Foro de Mujeres Políticas. In 2017 it spread to Cali, Colombia with the participation of more than 1,000 women and feminists. On this occasion ELLA arrived in La Plata, Buenos Aires, accompanying the flow of the Green Tide of Women who are Pro-abortion.

What is ELLA or ‘’SHE’’?
ELLA was born as a continental encounter and transformed into a Latin American movement. It started with women who wanted to be heard and became a space and a sounding board for women, lesbians, trans and transvestites. It emerged as a space for dialogue to think about and strengthen the different aspects of feminism to make this their identity.

What really happened during those days?
Not only interesting discussions were happening all over the National University of La Plata, but it was a Festival filled with culture, arts, and indigenous rituals. There were also free workshops for those who are interested in creating their own beauty products, or yoga workshops, everybody encouraged everybody to continue learning and to be able to have an open mind, especially with so much knowledge passing around.

What were the discussions about?
From ‘’The body and beauty as a disputed arena’’, to ‘’Popular feminism from the marginal areas’’, to ‘’Ancestral knowledge as a fighting action’’, to Mapuche rituals, the grounds of the university saw a place where people were able to address multiple problems that they face in a daily basis, in fact, each individual there was the voice of hundreds of other people from all over the continent who were not able to make it to ELLA.

The objective of the organization is to strengthen the articulation of the movements of women and feminists in Latin America, incorporating multiple identity perspectives (gender, sexual and racial orientation) from culture and communication as agents of social and political transformation.

One of the strongest axes of the proposal was the discomfort suffered by trans women, feminist and women from all over South America: putting in check the enlightened, cloistered, white, privileged and middle-class feminism to listen, recirculate and reflect on the need to revalue other feminisms but without leaving aside the ability to unite, taking into account the challenges that the struggle against the growing fascism in the region is printing as a sign of the era.

This year’s event was a clear example of how the feminist movement can and must cooperate with each other in order to organize themselves and to share their eye-opening knowledge, as it is the only way one can free oneself from the oppression of the current global system.