SLAGTOG WISHES YOU ALL A HAPPY NEW YEAR
The year 2022 has been eventful for us in Slagtog. In May, five of us completed the training of trainers. The training took place over a two year period and was led by Irene Zeilinger, one of the founders of the Belgian NGO Garance. The training was funded by Erasmus+ and we will forever be grateful for that opportunity and support.
Early in the year, a new member was added to Slagtog’s trainers’ group; Meeri. Meeri is now in the process of becoming a trainer. Meeri is educated as a dancer as well as a dance teacher. She has extensive experience in using different techniques to teach people to use their bodies and is a great addition to the current trainers team.
In April Slagtog rented a cabinet close to Þingvellir and held two days working meeting with the goal of finalizing and writing down Slagtog’s values and decide our orientation for the upcoming months. We had long discussions, brainstorming and debates which resulted in a written document were our values are stated in a clear and coherent manner, and a direction to continue our work for the year.
During the year 2022, Slagtog has presented its work to and/or cooperated with numerous NGO’s in Iceland, which Zahra was very involved in leading. These NGO’s include WOMEN In Iceland, Samtök kvenna af erlendum uppruna á Íslandi, the Woman’s shelter, the Queer youth center, Samtökin ’78, The Red umbrella, Post-dreifing and Andrými.
Erasmus+ gave us more opportunities when Slagtog had the privilege of partnering up with Fundacja Autonomia, a Polish NGO that also teaches feminist self-defense in Wen-Do system. Trainers from Autonomia came to Iceland and held two weekend courses for Polish women, Anna organized their visit and the courses throughout. Included in their visit was a course that Slagtog held especially for the trainers from Autonomia, with the aim share and discuss different methods in feminist self defense, a seminar with Tabú focused on No Means No campaign and trainings for women* with disabilities and discussion for teachers and educators in Iceland on empowerment of girls and Girls’ Power Centres. We look forward to continued collaboration and projects with Autonomia in the upcoming year.
In July, Hildur and Mariam held a course at Hátíðni, a self-organized music festival held in Borðeyri in Hrútafjörður. It is the first time that Slagtog holds a course at a music festival, and it was an exciting and challenging project, due to the location in a music festival. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to have a feminist self-defense course at an event that you are organising!
In the fall, the Heima artist residency invited Slagtog to come and hold a weekend course for queer people in Seyðisfjörður. Hildur and Eli went there and for the first time held a 14-hour course for queer people only. The course went very well and we received a lot of useful feedback and the opportunity to have important discussions about the prevention of gender-based violence perpetuated against queer people.
After far too long with a semi-functional website, we got a great designer, Deni, who is also a feminist self-defense trainer in Romania, to set up a new website for us! In collaboration with her, we created a beautiful webpage with new written content by all of us and illustrations by Mariam. Today we are proud of an incredibly cool and clear website that can be found at www.slagtog.org
Starting in July, Slagtog started to hold at least one course a month. We celebrate the fact that in 2022 almost 80 women and queer people attended a course with us in feminist self defense. We have gained so much knowledge through co-construction and discussions with the participants and for that we are extremely grateful.
We start 2023 traveling to Brussels to close the big partnership project of becoming coaches in the FSV, and we look with hope and courage to the time and struggles to come.