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Practicing Politics: The Fogelstad Women’s Citizenship School

05 februari 19:00 - 21:00 CET

Practicing Politics: The Fogelstad Women's Citizenship School

Introductory lecture by Ebba Johannesson and Anne-Marie Karlsson, Board Members of the Association Kulturföreningen Fogelstad on “Kvinnliga medborgarskolan vid Fogelstad/the Women’s Citizenship School at Fogelstad 1925–1954”

In 1921, women in Sweden gained the right to vote. Five women were elected to the 1922 Riksdag, among them Kerstin Hesselgren and Elisabeth Tamm. Both belonged to the Liberal Party. In the spring of 1922, after a month’s parliamentary experience, they met with the doctor Ada Nilsson, the educator Honorine Hermelin and the journalist and author Elin Wägner at Fogelstad. ”If it is to be noted that women have entered society, they must be many and knowledgeable,” said Elisabeth Tamm. The idea was born to start a Women’s Citizenship School, behind which stood these five women, the so-called ‘constellation’.

The school did not target women of any particular party affiliation. The ambition was to gather women from different social and cultural backgrounds, and to be open to all views. Medborgarskolan offered both long-term and shorter courses, covering subjects including history, citizenship and practical psychology. In addition, current political and social issues were raised in lectures and discussions. Public speech, singing, music, art and rhythm were included in the schedule. In the imaginary municipality ‘Komtemåtta’, you learned meeting and argumentation techniques – a role play before they were invented! This lecture by members of the Association Kulturföreningen Fogelstad acts as an introduction to the history of the Women’s Citizenship School at Fogelstad as part of the year long project Practicing Politics: The Fogelstad Women’s Citizenship School
The Association Kulturföreningen Fogelstad was founded in September 1995 in Katrineholm. It is politically and religiously independent and wishes to draw attention to the unique cultural heritage of the Female Civic School at Fogelstad and to continuously develop Fogelstad inspired activities.
The association also wants to create opportunities for, in particular, women from different backgrounds to meet, discuss and exchange experiences concerning important human and social issues. The association focuses on the core subjects related to the female civic school in Fogelstad – equality/women’s rights, peace, environment and education. The association does this by organizing seminars and lectures, by showing a summer exhibition about the school in Julita/Fogelstad and through courses in collaboration with the municipality of Katrineholm.

Practicing Politics: The Fogelstad Women’s Citizenship School 1922 – 1954
5.2 – through 2019
Practicing Politics: The Fogelstad Women’s Citizenship School is a one year research project initiated by the London based curator Hannah Margarita Zafiropoulos as part of The Eros Effect: Art, Solidarity Movements and the Struggle for Social Justice. A new installation commissioned from Stockholm-based artist Olivia Plender hosts a series of public seminars and performative workshops looking into the history and methods of the Fogelstad Women’s Citizenship School, a radical educational experiment founded following women gaining the right to vote in Sweden 1921. From 1925-1954, the school, which was self-organized by a group of women, many of whom had been active as women’s liberationists and promoters for women’s right to vote, held courses designed to educate women about their new roles and responsibilities as citizens. Alongside lectures by invited speakers on history, politics and sexual health, the school’s pedagogic method foregrounded embodied knowledge and collective experience through role play, singing and eurythmics. The five founders were the liberal politicians Elisabeth Tamm and Kerstin Hesselgren, the physician Ada Nilsson, the teacher Honorine Hermelin (later the rector for the school) and the writer Elin Wägner and, among the many students, was the famous writer Moa Martinson. Connecting the history of the school with contemporary feminist practices, activist groups and pedagogic experiments, the project attempts to understand what forms of knowledge such methods may produce and what political potential they had then, and now.

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05 februari
19:00 - 21:00
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