– by Alicia May Be
For a number of years now Kiwiburn has given out Innovation Grants to projects which improve the festival experience in some way. The winners in 2016 were not beautiful solar flowers to light up our usually adventurous way to the loos, but something rather different – a Community Woman’s Space. This space, which has been named Two Moons Temple (TMT), was born out of numerous conversations amongst Kiwiburn wahine (Māori word for women). TMT aims to be a forum and safe-space for community building, support and space holding, offered to all the women-folk of Kiwiburn, specifically inclusive of all our non-male/non-binary/trans/femme-identifying people.
In offering Kiwiburn wahine a place to thrive, TMT aims to embody the ever evolving equity and radical inclusivity culture of Kiwiburn – by acknowledging the existence of intersectional gender privilege in the default world, of which our community is undeniably a subset. What a gift to be able to shake this off by co-creating a place where our women/non-male identifying folk can gather, bond, celebrate and just be! By allowing ourselves to make way for a kaupapa of positive and constructive civic responsibility, we help our community heal from the wounds left by the default world’s patriarchy and its power structures. This nurturing and celebration of the feminine will undoubtedly extend to the whole community, wherever each of us lie along the gender or privilege spectrum. Fed by our dreams and gifts, Kiwiburn always manages to cook up magic beyond our expectations, and a place on the Paddock for us to rejoice in the feminine has quite scrumptious potential.
Two Moons Temple will be a hang out and workshop hub, offering wahine a forum to share their voices and offer their wisdom. We wish to reimagine a world where women are just as likely to step up and share their skills and abilities in workshops – something the gender-gap of default life has left us thirsty for. In collaboration with the larger Kiwiburn organisation we also aim to be a place reinforcing positive and healthy consent culture – which Kiwiburn is putting a special effort into in 2017, from Greeters to Rangers. Sure, it is not the prettiest side of our beautiful crazy frolic-full jamboree, but we need to acknowledge that in the haze and craze of it all, breaches of consent do happen on the Paddock. And though these occur all along the many colours of the gender spectrum, it is a fact that women are more often than not the recipients of it. The “not wanting to make a big deal about it” – a feeling familiar for many of us – often trumps (excuse the pun) women from seeking official assistance when experiencing harassment or abuse.
Hopefully TMT will serve as another little thread, adding to an increasing web of support helping women feel safe and supported in these situations. Special attention will also be given to groups often less cared for, being specifically inclusive of all along the gender rainbow that identify as non-male (like our gorgeous queer, transgender and non-binary community) as well as offering resources for women coming with children. Lastly we simply wish to be a resource shed, from tampons to condoms, from tools to a spew bucket.
At TMT we see kiwiburn as a transient tribe allowing us to dream bigger than we usually allow ourselves, pushing us to challenge our resistances and lean into our sharp places. We are lucky to be a satellite collecting a precious open community of men, women, and all those in between. Making a space where we celebrate and remember the, dare we say divine, uniqueness and diversity of that community can only help us shine brighter – as bright as the robots which will be let loose on the Paddock in January 2017.
If you are interested in joining the Women of Kiwiburn please join our facebook page. Please get involved in the Two Moons Temple Women’s Space, we need you!
If you are interested in also helping grow a healthy loving men’s culture and participating in men’s spaces please join Men of Kiwiburn Facebook group.
For those of you who love lists, here is one with our main aims as a space:
- Provide a gathering a space exclusive for women-folk hosting workshops, talks and meetings.
- Provide a quiet safe-space for women-folk needing time-out – quiet relax, nurturing space for women needing time alone, bleeding, connecting, grieving, tripping, breast-feeding.
- Collaborate and coordinate with Rangers, medics and other groups in order to provide assistance to women in camp who experience sexual assault and harassment by providing a comfortable women only safe space where they can be supported and held safely. The inner sanctum will have everything women need to spend the night if necessary.
- Be a centre for information and resources for the women of Kiwiburn. For example: enforcement of consent kaupapa and distribution of ladies hygiene products, condoms, etc.
Photo courtesy of Amy Potenger