The 'Take One Action' festival celebrated its fifth annual event in Aberdeen. Taking place at Belmont Filmhouse in November, there was an excitable atmosphere in the air, a sense of community-spirit so to speak. We were all there for the same reason, to gain a better understanding and knowledge of society’s issues and how to work together to resolve them.
RADAR was lucky enough to attend the last film event of the festival. Starting off with a discussion amongst the people sat beside you, it opened up the floor and engaged people to think about the topical question of, ‘What does feminism mean to you?’. With some stating that they had engaged in a feminist approach since primary school, e.g. through organising a girl football team when there had only been one for boys, and others saying that they did not actually agree with the term ‘feminism’; no one was discouraged from having their voice heard.
According to the Oxford dictionary the term ‘Feminist’ states that it is, ‘a person who supports the belief that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men.’ It is important to have such events, like the Take One Action Film Fest, to educate and enlighten how such problems still exist.
The ‘Feminister’ event started off with a short film about a Refuge Centre for women who had been abused. It was extremely emotional and horrific, despite the only images being of a woman dealing and talking to the female victims, one of whom was raped several times by a group of men despite her pleadings for them to stop. As this woman eventually recovered and was able to step back into the world we then met another woman, in a similar situation, showing a never-ending cycle of abuse that women receive.
What was so innovative about the film was that she was talking to the camera, and therefore directly to you. It put the audience into the perspective of the victims, making it much more powerful and expository.
‘The Feminister’ detailed the first four years in office of Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, and her mission to achieve a Feminist Foreign Policy. A very personal documentary, it exposed the ups and downs of these years, in both her personal and political life. With the death of her sister, receiving death threats herself and becoming ill with pneumonia through to achieving seats on the UN Security Council in the 2016 elections. It showed an element of hope of women rising and fighting for each other, and with a network of support from men.
The film portrays that in order for the current situation to be improved for women we need support, resources, and a budget. There has to be thought and funds put into helping society’s female citizens in order for anything to truly be changed or (like in the short film) there will just be a constant cycle of female suffering?
The conversation with Alys Mumford, from 'Engender', engaged people to interact with what is happening and how they can help on a political level. What is most noticeable from this event is that people need to support each other, women need to support women, and until this happens change is impossible.