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October 1, 2018 | by  | in News |
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First Young Feminist Hui Hits Te Papa

Two weeks ago, the first Young Feminist Hui was held at Te Papa, spearheaded by six young women who are leaders of various feminist groups at their respective high schools: Olivia Trass, Ilena Shadbolt, Ruby Hooper, Khrystyna Samsonova, Freja Cook, and Henrietta Fisher. The event attracted over 100 people of many ages and genders.
Hooper said the event stemmed from the girls’ weekly sessions where they would “just get together and talk shit about what annoyed us”. The hui aimed to bring together groups that might be discussing similar ideas in isolation from one another.
It also sought to expose people to new ideas. Shadbolt said that they wanted the discussions to be led naturally. “We wanted to bridge the gap between feminism [and] everyday life, [it’s not] a separate movement only to be considered in certain places”. It was a rare opportunity for feminism to be discussed between generations. The ages represented at the hui ranged from early teens to late 60s.
The day was split into four panels: women and media, feminism and masculinity, porn, and the creation of feminist spaces in everyday life. Speakers throughout the day included VUW’s Dr Anita Brady, Brittany and Johanna Cosgrove (founders of Nope Sisters clothing line), Hugo Grrrl’s George Fowler, and Radio NZ’s Melody Thomas (who also produces the podcast BANG!, which explores sex, sexuality, and relationships in modern-day Aotearoa). All of the panels were designed to provide some analysis on the way we currently approach such issues, as well as steps for change and moving forward.
Samsonova said that she’s aware it’s a completely different environment in university, and she’s eager to see how she can continue the discussion once she graduates. They want to see the event evolve and change when moving forward, particularly in ensuring the diversity of their keynote speakers: “There were so many ideas that we ran out of time for. Feminism and disability, indigenous feminism, how to survive the internet when no one gives you online literacy until you’re knee deep.”
The group acknowledged that these weren’t easy topics to be broached in every space. They hope future events will continue to offer less intimidating spaces for people to give their side of the story in the future. Olivia joked, “it’s not like I can just bring up porn at the dinner table!”
Te Papa mentioned that they were keen to nationalise the event, starting with doing outreach to regions close to Wellington.

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