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Illustration of the project, proposed by the project team – no direct link, the image can also be found here:
Students' Project

Mémoires et luttes de femmes (Memories and Struggles of Women)

Camille Caramanno, Hawa Derdessy, Matilda Fayard, Tiphaine Charrondière-Cornil


Keywords: ordinary experiences, sharing experiences, non-mixity, testimonies and memory, emotion, creative inquiry
Threads: Cooperating with(in) arts and culture, Inquiring, Learning, Remembering

Short description

Presentation of the purpose of the project by its authors:
“The project ‘Mémoire et luttes de femmes’ is led by a team of women. We believe and act so that the transmission, the testimony, and the sharing of stories between women participate actively in a process of emancipation and empowerment. Our approach is part of a horizontal dynamic that favors a redefinition of references in terms of struggles, pride, resistance, resilience, and women’s capacities, beyond the great figures and stories usually put forward in history”.
The main result of the project has been the creation of a method which is both deeply elaborate, and easily implementable with various target groups, even if (because) it relies on personal interactions. This method has three steps:
1. Gathering (audio recording of) women’s stories about their ordinary, daily experiences and struggles. Not any women were chosen: the interviews were an act of trust between two women who knew each other previously (they were friends, grandmother and granddaughter, colleagues, etc.). The diversity of testimonies in age, social context, etc., came from the diversity of the project team.
2. This raw material has then been thematically edited in four five-to-ten-minute podcasts: “domination and power”, “fights”, “body and sexuality”, “pride” (these podcasts cannot be accessed online).
3. The core of the project consists in “a series of workshops for women to share their experiences. From these words listened collectively, the objective is to generate debate and bring out other acts of transmission within the group. A time of mediation to activate words and the sharing of personal struggles, facilitated by our team”. The participants are women exclusively – the groups are constituted by women who, once again, previously know each other.
The project team implemented two workshops: one with female students; one with elderly women in a nursing home. Even if it was not possible to do more, the team also contacted other cultural, and social structures, and had also considered schools, companies, unions, etc., “in order to diversify the groups of women as much as possible and to participate in a popular transmission of ordinary struggles”.

Personal appreciation

This project has been conceived by four master’s students of the 2020-2021 group, in the “projet tutoré” exercise.
It is a good example of what we want to produce, share and support within the handbook. It echoes a very important topic : the oblivion of subaltern(ized) knowledge over time (and space, and institutional frames), and how these exclusions can be fought.

Contribution to the "Who knows?" handbook

The project “Mémoire et luttes de femmes” is the opposite of the canonical academic ways of doing research, or at least of the way we are told to do research. For instance, good research is supposed to rely on anonymity, a “detached and neutral point of observation” (see Mignolo WD. Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and Decolonial Freedom. Theory, Culture & Society. 2009;26(7-8):159-181), etc. This project also advocates for small-sized actions, as meaningful and powerful acts of knowledge and empowerment. From this project, and from the text “Culture and democracy: cultural policies at work is cultural policy theory possible at the semi-periphery” (Milena Dragićević Šešić, ), we can admit that it is not enough to restrain this way of producing, sharing and remembering knowledge to “situated knowledge” or approaches. On the contrary, and especially within SHAKIN’, we must find ways to extend it to all kind of knowledge, through critical and practical analysis.
This way, the project addresses questions that are relevant for the SHAKIN’ project in many ways:
- How to share the “method” that has been created in both a very situated way and to tackle a widely shared situation?
- How to support its perpetuation and further activation?
- How does this project contribute to a better understanding of the (ideological) conditions of production, uses, appropriations, oblivion, of subaltern knowledge but also of knowledge in general?


Additional Information

Location France
Original language(s) French
Existing translations
Length 1 year
Project runtime 2020 - 2021
Institution of affiliation Université Lumière Lyon 2
Name of contributor: Sarah Cordonnier

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Creative Commons

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