Women

Women’s publishing experiences: Everything is a “women’s issue”

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
The International Feminist Forum brought female publishers together in Ankara last weekend. Whether women’s publishing experiences can transform heterosexism and patriarchy was at the core of discussion.  
 
Kaos GL Association’s 4th International Feminist Forum focused on women’s experiences in publishing with the moderation of Kaos GL Magazin’s editor Aylime Asli Demir.
 
Demir emphasized that many publications do not include women in their editorial boards and added: “There is this perception that women can only write about women’s issues and LGBTI people can only write about LGBTI issues. And when you criticize this situation, you get accused of indulging in identity politics.”
 
Here are some of the highlights of speakers from various publications:
 
Munevver Celik from Otonom Publishings:
 
We have been influenced by the change in political paradigm after 80s. We opened all kinds of Marxism which fall out of Orthodox Marxism to discussion. And our books about feminism depend on the tradition of autonomist Marxism in Italy that rejects work.
 
Muge Sokmen from Metis Publishings:
 
We tried to see how what’s called normal is constructed with violence. We tried to see how state is organized, and we tried to document gender-based violence. We tried to focus on the effects of Kemalism, religion and political Islam on women’s struggle, and how heterosexism is founded and ideologized. We tried to look at women’s history and published books dealing with gender issues in literature.
 
Pinar Buyuktas from Sel Publishings:
 
Sel is a publishing house with an LGBT series. What we do keeps us dynamic and questioning. We do not only focus on theory, we try to have a perspective that questions both theory and literature. Queer Tahayyul (Queer Imagination) was our first book. I’m part of a team which is always in favor of questioning. We can discuss arguments about how to use the word queer but it doesn’t mean that I would be convinced by all those arguments.
 
Beyhan from Pazartesi magazine:
 
Pazartesi is a feminist magazine founded in 1994 as a result of the women’s movement. It kicked off with the idea that women would be interested in anything in the world and they can decide to change anything including their own destinies. Contrary to the world of publishing, we did not experience any heterosexist and sexist pressure on us while making news, which was a great thing. We have gone on trial for our Nasty Corner where women shared their fantasies and an operation in Burdur Jail. The magazine turned into a publication which set the agenda and journalists contacted for the opinions of feminists. In its last two years, the magazine was published as dociers. Dociers of love and sexuality sold out. As we did not want to be away from publishing, we continue with Guldunya now.
 
Ceren from Amargi: 
 
This is our 9th year, we will publish our 36th issue soon. “They call it sex” will be our goodbye issue. Then we will continue with our website. Amargi opened a space for women where they can write for.
 
Meral Akbas from Amargi:  
 
Now we are discussing how the website should be like after the magazine. It is difficult to measure the impact of a magazine on patriarchy, you can only look at what kind of a relation the magazine made with its readers.
 
Oyku from Feminist Politika:
 
Feminist Politika has been published quarterly since 2008 as the publication of “Socialist Feminist Collective”. We do not have an editorial board, it is changing by rotation. We try to relate to each other in a non-hierarchical way. We do not work with distributors, we distribute the magazine ourselves.  
 
Eda from Deli Kadin magazine:
 
We are a very young magazine. We do whatever we like. We go to printing press regularly and it is a very male-dominated space, they do not want to see us women there.   
 
Ezgi Saritas from peer-reviewed Fe Dergi:
 
Fe Dergi is the peer-reviewed journal of Ankara University’s Women Issues Research and Application Center (KASAUM). It can be described as women’s attempt to be part of public sphere through publishing. We are trying to break down the academic hierarchy. We are trying to empower the contributors with scholars in a space which is not male-dominated.
 
Ayse Uslu from peer-reviews KaosQ+:
 
KaosQ+ will be published in every 6 months. We only had its first issue yet. It is the result of courses that Kaos GL and Ankara University run together. With this journal, I realized the potential of grassroots movement to think about themselves and turn this thinking into production. There are some limitations in academia. We want to question theorization itself, too.
 
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