At Feminism in London on Saturday 25th of October, Yasmin, who volunteers with the Collections Team and is a librarian by profession, gave a fabulous presentation on the values, purpose and relevance of the FL during the workshop Feminist Archives and Activism: Knowing Our Past – Creating Our Future. This workshop explored the importance of documenting and celebrating feminist history, whilst highlighting feminist archives and libraries. The workshop was organised by the new national network of feminist libraries and archives, FLA. Other speakers included Frankie Green from the Women’s Liberation Music Archive, Jalna Hanmer from the Feminist Archive North, Zaimal Azad from Nottingham Women’s Centre, Sue John from Glasgow Women’s Library, and Liz Kelly and Joan Scanlon from the radical feminist journal Trouble & Strife. The workshop was chaired by Sue O’Sullivan from Spare Rib and Sheba Feminist Press.
In her talk, Yasmin pointed out that the Feminist Library does not tie itself with any one feminism, but rather provides a platform for those more marginalised within the feminist community. Yasmin said:
As 3rd and 4th wave has seen gender constructs defined differently and socio-economic and racial barriers being broken down within the feminist movement, the library strives to be an inclusive and active political space. Intergenerational feminism plays a key role in this. Some of the 70s sisters who were active in setting up library are still active volunteers. Being in a space where the experiences of our volunteers is so rich helps us understand what an inclusive and respectful space means.
Yasmin ended her talk by highlighting the importance of maintaining a network that records and communicates and shares the academic, cultural and activist aspects of feminism from past and present. Only by doing this can the feminist movement continue to move forward.