"Gender ideology" is an empty signifier that unites different interest groups

We talked with the editors of the recently published book Anti-Gender Campaigns in Europe: Mobilising Against Equality, Roman Kuhar (University of Ljubljana) and David Paternotte (Université Libre de Bruxelles).

After decades of progress in terms of gender and sexual rights, certain parts of Europe are facing a wave of resistance to the so-called "gender ideology" or "gender theory". This opposition is manifested in challenges to marriage equality, the right to abortion, reproductive technologies, sex education, liberalism, transgender rights, antidiscrimination policies and even the notion of gender itself.

Dragana Jurišić: Not belonging to any nation means having great freedom

The photographer Dragana Jurišić, who is originally from Slavonski Brod in Croatia, but has been living and working in Ireland for a number of years, presented her project YU: The Lost Country as part of this year's International Photography Festival "Organ Vida" in Zagreb. Inspired by Rebecca West's famous travelogue, Dragana travelled throughout the territories of the former state, trying to make contact with her lost homeland – which, as it turned out, is much harder than expected.

Thematizing the consequences of exile and dislocation on memory and identity, with a special sensibility for women's experiences, Dragana uses photography not only as a tool for recording memories (or the impossibility of returning that which is lost), but also to deconstruct national and identity myths.

Catholics for contraception and abortion access

We know that 86% of people in Croatia identify as Catholics, and we also know that a significant part of the population is in favour of using contraceptives and, to a lesser degree, the right to abortion. Thus, we can conclude that a certain proportion of Catholics not only acknowledge the importance of reproductive rights, but themselves use some of the methods of family planning.

However, the official Church doctrine has a clearly defined attitude to the function of human sexuality and it decidedly prohibits the use of modern contraceptive methods such as the pill and condom (not to mention abortion).

Jillian C. York: Facebook is not a public space!

One of the guests at this year's Subversive Festival was Jillian C. York, an American activist, journalist and Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

At the festival, she participated in public discussions Freedom of Speech, Civil Disobedience and Satire in the Digital Era and Who Whistles Means No Harm. She serves on the Board of Directors of Global Voices and publishes articles in the New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, etc. Her interests include freedom of expression, privacy and digital security.

Tansy Hoskins: Fashion is capitalism's favorite child

Tansy Hoskins, a British writer, journalist and activist, is the author of the book Stitched-Up: The Anti-capitalist Book of Fashion, whose Croatian translation was recently published by Sandorf&Mizantrop and CIMO – Center for research of fashion and clothing.  

In the book, which presents a research and criticism of the contemporary fashion system, Hoskins insists that fashion is social production and that ignoring this fact leads to its mystification. But, according to Ankica Čakardić, one of the book's reviewers, there is absolutely nothing particularly romantic about fashion.

Joe Black: I'm completely a clown

It's the second year of DRAGram! This year, along with drag performers from Croatia and the region, House of Flamingo are bringing us two queer acts from the UK.

Joe Black describes himself as a "gin drinking cabaret darling, musical comedy misfit, drag clown and acid tongued ringmaster". He's strummed his ukulele and dazzled and shocked audiences with a mix of music, theatre and comedy across the globe, performing alongside names such as Eddie Izzard, The Tiger Lillies, David J, Voltaire, Toyah Wilcox and Duke Special.

Ann Cvetkovich: Depression as an intimate, cultural and political phenomenon

Ann Cvetkovich's work, starting from her first book on Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism (1992), has been highly influential in the understanding of the complex modes of entanglement of affect and politics, and the multiple ways in which affect can work to sustain, stabilise or resist hegemonic forms of power.

Exposing what cannot be rendered visible with the suffering male body in the “hidden abode of production” in Marxian analysis, affect in Cvetkovich’s work contests the dominant hierarchies of suffering and pain, and makes us think feelings as multiple forms in which subjects experience capitalism and skin-feel structural and sustained forms of misogyny, homophobia, racism and other forms of inequalities and violence.