Archiv für Mai 2013

Concerning Barriers and Obstacles at the Camp

We would like that everyone who is interested in the themes might be able to participate in our camp. But we know that this is impossible. Places are not only structured physically but also socially. There are different kinds of barriers – structural obstacles and others that prevent participation. It is no task for single persons to eliminate these barriers but the task of all (in regard of this camp it is mainly task of the preparation team).
Our aim during the preliminary planning was to eliminate as many barriers as possible as freedom from barriers means to us reduction of governess.
We neither want to apologise anything by this text as certain barriers still exist, nor to label the camp as especially barrier-free (as this is not the case). The aim is to record ideas and a part of the reflection process. On the one hand for us, in order to take them into consideration for future events but on the other hand we also want to share it with other groups which want to plan events as proposition to try out certain things, take them into account and realize them.
When we were searching for a suitable location for the camp, finding a wheelchair-accessible one war important to us. An internet site for group accommodations recommended “Burg Lohra” as “suitable for wheelchairs”. Much later it became apparent that this is wrong. We still hoped to reach what we wanted with the help of some ramps. But when we finally visited the castle we came to the realization that it is totally impossible to make this place suitable for wheelchairs. Part of the terrain is bumpy, some stairs are too steep, many doors and toilets are not wide enough to allow wheelchair access and there are no walk-in showers. This is really an unsatisfactory result. But we failed to inspect the localities before signing the contract and assuring that the information concerning wheelchair access is true.
Another focal point was the translation for people who just speak little or no German. Concerning the translation of texts which were published in the run-up of the camp (announcements etc.), we had some helpful people who got in touch with us to do these translations. Thanks for your help! In this way it was possible to publish many texts in several languages. We have not yet been able to translate everything but we still try to complete at least the English translations.
We are still looking for people who would like to do a whispered interpretation during the camp. We hope that all people coming to the camp who require a translation will get it. If you can and want to offer such a whispered interpretation just don’t hesitate to call us.
Another field of discussion was the theme “Easy Language”. It soon became clear how complicate “Easy Language” can be, particularly if it is a matter of rewording very complex themes. We had to recognize that in this respect we are simply overstrained and therefore we refrained from this ambitious requirement.
Again and again there are discussions dealing with academization in feminist circles. We think that differentiated discussions and analyses of themes are really important but at the same time it is just as important to thematise contents in the most comprehensible way (!) for as many people as possible.
To realise this we offer introductory meetings on specific topics. In addition to this there is a glossary where we tried to explain some terms which are frequently used during discussions.
Another obstacle during events can be a lack of childcare. Especially in the context of a feministic camp it was important for us that responsibilities for childcare are not a matter of course (“Woman´s Work”, nuclear family). At least one person feels responsible for childcare. It would be great if some more people would take that responsibility during the camp.

We know that we as organizers partly and unintentionally contribute to the existence of barriers and that our organization is far from being perfect. Some things failed for financial reasons but above all we had to realize that a lot depends on priority-setting and how much time you can and want to spend as a group on a certain point.
We know that in this sense it could have been better but we hope that at least the intentions can be realized at the camp in a good way. We look forward to your suggestions, critique and further support.

Social relations/ Togetherness/ Interpersonal dynamics

We are looking forward to a relaxed and exciting camp with brilliant, sensitive and thoughtful people.

In an idyllic atmosphere we want to debate critically about ourselves and society. Fundamentally we welcome a respectful togetherness, mututal consideration and a common transfer of responsibility. We want all people to feel comfortable and to be able to develop freely without exceeding the boundaries of others, even if those boundaries are not obvious. It’s about a more true life amidst wrongs.

Discrimination and the exceeding of personal limits are daily occurrences in our society. Therefore it can not be ruled out that displeasing situations might occur. Appropriate responses to these situations are then required, so the camp space can be as pleasant and as safe as possible. However these responses should neither be unplanned nor arbitrary, and so we wanted to give some thoughts about social interactions on the camp. We consider limits to be exceeded once the humanity of someone is not being acknowledged. We will not allow any space for such attitudes.

We distinguish various actions: in our view an assault or a discriminating affront is different to a frivolous use of a term with discriminating implications. How we will deal with such incidents, we will decide in the moment of the particular situation. If people, however, are resistant to respectful interaction we will expel them/ the person from the camp.

Our priority: respecting personal boundaries. In the case of limits being passed, the decision of if and how support is needed is up to the affected person themselves. The power of defining what has happened to a person, rests alone with her_thim/ them.

A matter that often leads, especially on summercamps, to a conflict is the exposure to nakedness. For a variety of reasons some humans do not want to have to see naked bodies unasked. This shall apply particularly to the bare male upper bodies, which are socially accepted. This acceptance frequently results in men* taking off their shirt quickly as it gets hot. On the other hand getting undressed can also be empowering e. g. for women* or trans*persons, who are exposed to quite different viewers‘ gazes or comments in public. Therefore we decided to not frame any common rules concerning the exposure to nakedness. Nevertheless we would like to ask you to bear this set of problems in mind and not to take off your shirt without reflection.

The issue of desire is a broad area of conflict – getting to know each other, gabbing, getting attached to one another, flirting is all well and good as long as it remains a mutual agreement. In general it would be ideal, if all actions be based on respectful decision-making by consensus by the people involved. However consent given in one situation does not mean it is given for all situations.

Discussions and debates are important and encouraged, but are most productive with respect, without domination over another person.

In case it still gets down to discrimination, disrespecting of personal boundaries or you feel uncomfortable because of other reasons, we thought about the following possibilities:

Support/ Backup
The backers can be contacted on the following number: 01577-77 13 102
What the support can look like is up to you – we won‘t do anything that you don‘t want.

Transformative work
Our attention will focus on the support of the people that are affected by disrespecting of personal boundaries, discrimination and/ or violence. Nonetheless it is our standard to support the offending person to reflect on and change their behaviour. We are fully conscious, however, of the fact that the duration of the camp can not create an all-encompassing change. This matter is the main responsibility to the offending person themsleves and his/their/her environment.

Safer spaces
„Safer space“ (more safe, more secure space/room) is what we would like the entire camp to be. Yet there will still be extra secure areas:

Inside
There will be two rooms on the camp which are tagged as “safer space” from Friday to Monday. These rooms, marked with a sign, are located in the „White House“ on the second floor. There you can retire, be alone, or be just with the persons that you are in need of right in that moment.

Outside
There will be a tent on the camp with 24-hour access, where you may also withdraw or read some information on awareness and support in a calm atmosphere.

Further spaces
Social relationships of domination/influence make an impact on spaces. In order to counteract these, it may be wise to create exclusionary spaces. For the moment there are a sleeping rooms and sanitary facilities for women*.

Domestic authority/ Sanctity of the home
The sanctity of the home falls to the preperation group during the entire camp.

Critique
With our thoughts on „social relations“ we want to contribute to a relaxed and respectful atmosphere on the camp. We try to shape our basics principals and lines of action as transparently as possible. If there is resentment or critique we will provide a framework to discuss them together.

With this in mind: let us try a more true life amidst wrongs.

The * shall visualize the social construction of „men“ and „women“.

Translation

If you need translation during the camp, please contact us before the camp. We will also announce before the camp and on the different language pages, which languages we will have folks to do translation for. If you would like to do translation, please contact us!
The translations will be as whisper translations. This means that folks needing translation, i.e. from German to English, are sitting together with the translator. The translator will summarize the content of the workshop or presentation while whispering. There will be no simultaneous translation – except for German sign language.

Transport

The camp will take place at some kind of castle called “Burg Lohra” that is situated in the free state of Thuringia (region of Nordhausen). The easiest way to come by car is to take the highway A38. If you prefer to take the train instead, the nearest station called “Gebra/Hainleite” is located on the railway track between Halle/Saale and Kassel. From the station, you would have to walk about five kilometers or to take a car or bike for the last 6 kilometers. Please note that you would have to challenge about 250m difference in altitude. Unfortunately, there are no bus connections between the castle and the train station but we are trying to make a shuttle possible (see Shuttle). Several times per day, there are buses from Bleicherode via Gebra/Hainleite that stop in Großlohra. There will be enough parking space at the castle if you come by car.

Wheelchair accessibility

We are sorry: because of incorrect information we have to announce that neither the castle nor the entire site and community places/buildings are wheelchair accessible.

We are looking forward to spending amazing, but also relaxing days with you!

No means No!

No means No

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