At the end of May 2014, one week before the Nordic Forum and Feminist Festival, the Women Making History exhibition opened at Teknikens & Sjöfartens hus in Malmö, as a part of the project 100 Years of Immigrant Women´s Life and Work in Malmö. The vivid exhibition is a permanent exhibition that co-exists with the exhibition of Tidernas Stad and contributes with a female perspective at the history of Malmö. Throughout the project we have had several working names for the project, to clarify the different phases of it.
We decided to create a working name for the exhibition and in order to make it simple, we chose Women Making History. The same name is now used for the Tumblr-site Womenmakinghistory.tumblr.com – and from now on for the newsletters as well. The project working names has changed many times during the process. It has also been named Kvinna 100 and Kvinnor 100. So don´t be confused, they are all correct! Most projects usually end with a physical outcome such as a book or an exhibition, but Women Making History was not an end but a starting point for questioning and unfolding the invisible history of women and migration in Malmö. In addition, it was an experience of challenging the wallness and the rigid structures of institutions that often resist change.
Everything up until now has been a collective effort fueled by discussions and activities. The task hasn’t been easy but we couldn´t have it any other way. The great positive response shown by the audience was a partial but a crucial success. It was an indicator of the historical and institutional vacuum in the history of life and work of the immigrant women. Why otherwise could a flat wall with no interaction points attract so many spectators? When noting the flatness and no- interaction-points of the exhibition, the exhibition created a way and space for vibrant, not ‘flat’ and interactive discussion in workshops, such as e.g. evaluation event, Roma workshop and guided tours. This paved the way for continued movement and discussion among the individuals, networks and organizations.
The next newsletter will cover the workshops, seminars and meetings. All efforts were not limited to the exhibition. The project Living Archives at Malmö University collaborated with the project on how digital technology and meeting people can make archives more democratic, vibrant and relevant; and most importantly, how archives can contribute to social change. The Women Making History site is the output of that collective effort.
If you are interested in being more involved in the current debates about women and migration you are welcome to watch the roundtable discussion among five active women. This was another effort to highlight the most important issues that were discussed at the seminars and workshops. The informal round table meeting was recorded at Sydsvenskan and the result became five short films screened at the exhibition and on the Women Making History tumblr-site. In this issue there is a short report on these topics. Furthermore you can also read about the panel discussions between women´s networks on immigrant women´s life and work that was held at Moriska Paviljongen, during the Feminist Festival at Folkets Park. At the festival the project group in collaboration with ABF, Medea and Nordic African Women organized several workshops and explored women’s stories and experiences of migration through collage and postcard manufacturing. Some of the creative visual stories are in this issue.
And finally regarding to the project, two workshops were held by Tusen Serier and Dotterbolaget, at the Nordic Forum and the Feminist Festival. You can see several of the cartoons that came out of the workshop in this issue. All the material in this newsletter is related to the exhibition and workshops of that were held in May 2014.
The Editorial Group