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Feminist Camp Summer 2016 // Day One: First Meetings and Fem-media

June 7th, 2016

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Marked by thoughtful conversation, public transportation navigation, and career observation, day one of Feminist Camp, featuring exploration of feminist media, was a riveting success.

To begin the day, fifteen campers, led by native New Yorker and Program Assistant Isa, trekked from the Hostel International to Amy Richards’ house on the Lower East Side. There, we ate breakfast (homemade quiche, tart, fruit and waffles!) and introduced ourselves. We met the Soapbox team behind Feminist Camp and discussed feminist and personal issues we’ve been pondering lately, such as communicating our ideals to those who have not yet claimed or embodied the “feminist” label.

Next, we visited the new office of VICE in Brooklyn, where we witnessed content generators hard at work and glimpsed the process of ideas becoming official VICE Programming. Chief of Staff Ari Wengroff communicated VICE’s mission to produce socially responsible content. A day before its premiere, we watched an episode of Gloria Steinem’s WOMAN which focused on the incarceration of women and its devastating effects on communities and families. Afterwards, Creative Director Amel Monsur encouraged us to stand up for what we believe in and surround ourselves with people who believe in us. We poured the resulting inspiration into our next activity, writing cards to prisoner rape survivors for the foundation Words of Hope.

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A message on a pink flag with a flame at its center captures the essence of our next destination, Feminist Press: “Lit since 1970.” The relatively small press aims to publish books highlighting topics that are often neglected or undervalued by mainstream publishers, such as works in translation. We met members of the staff, who shared their passion for books and belief in books’ power to expose readers to different worlds and build empathy. Numerous campers bought books about midwifery, Mexican-American identity, and a variety of other topics.

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Finally, we dined at the Foundation for a Just Society with members of the Feminist Camp Alumni community. We marveled at the beautiful view from the patio while we reflected on what we had experienced during the day. Conversation focused on responsible funding sources, differing and sometimes conflicting methods of feminisms, and the importance of being critical of our own and others’ actions. Alums, whose interests included media, communications, and reproductive health, shared their biggest takeaways from Feminist Camp and advice for enacting one’s feminism anywhere.

For the remainder of the night, we were free to explore bookstores and restaurants or to rest up to prepare for Day 2 of Feminist Camp: Power and Impact!