Ukraine: Activistka, a new feminist zine in Lviv


Patrick Le Trehondat

January 2, 2023

On December 23, after many initiatives taken as part of the “16 days against violence against women”, the feminist group Bilkis presented its new zine Activistka. Among the mobilizations of this group in recent weeks was the campaign against the sexist brand of alcohol Drunk Cherry which provoked the harassment of Bilkis by the city's fascists and councilman Scholtis. Then a poster collage on the walls of the city for sexual consent and finally a distribution of leaflets in front of the Lviv Opera against violence against women. The zine Activistka was printed in 50 copies for financial reasons, but is widely distributed on social networks in its pdf form. "This zine is dedicated to women and queer people who engage in grassroots activism, who help with humanitarian relief, who defend our country at the front or in the rear, who organize cultural and educational events, or who simply continue to work and take care of themselves despite the war" explain its editors who add "We draw attention to the fact that women and homosexual people are fighting simultaneously on two fronts: first, against the patriarchal and capitalist system, and second, against Russia, a terrorist state, and the consequences of its aggression. In summary, a long interview with feminist activists on their lives, their experience of war and their commitments. Nata from Kiyiv explains that "in 2017, I was outraged that only beauty contests were held on March 8th in the whole university of Kiyv... Then I started making zines about women and transgender people in precarious work, to get involved in solidarity cooking, to correspond with Kremlin prisoner Zhenya Karakashev [imprisoned Russian anarchist activist]”. For Marina Gaaba “during the Dignity Revolution, I understood that I had to stay in my city and not go to the Maidan in Kyiv. The Maidan in my city was run by men, and this atmosphere was difficult for me. However, there was active communication on special networks, I found friends there, we formed a temporary association "Centuries of sisters", and we organized a small women's march. Lisa is a soldier. “There is too much prejudice, sexism, and neglect in the army. But I'm not saying that we shouldn't achieve our aspirations to defend the country in the military sphere, it's more about the fact that female soldiers have a difficult path to walk, and they have to be a little stronger and aware that male soldiers… A strong minority is able to resist the pressure of the majority and that is our role in this war. Let's unite and break this rock. For Katia of the Feminist Workshop “the biggest difficulty is that when you are an activist, you are a thorn in the side of all the other people. When you say you are a feminist, you are immediately asked for "proof": how you were discriminated against, who beat you, if you were raped, who insulted you... I am one of those people who have need to see the tangible results of their work, otherwise I would have worn myself out a long time ago. But I'm lucky: the world I want to live in and leave behind is being built before my eyes. »

To download Activistka