16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign | Events

November 28, 2016 - 09:00 - December 8, 2016 - 19:00
Please see program description for details
Event type: 
Social Events
Event audience: 
CEU Community + Invited Guests
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign | Events

Dear CEU Community,

Human RightS Initiative (HRSI) invites you to join us in the following events to mark The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence*. It is an annual international campaign set between 25 November - the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 10 December - Human Rights Day. This year, HRSI’s campaign focuses on awareness raising and calls for action to end violence against women and LGBTQI people around the world. The campaign also features a highlight on HIV/AIDS awareness to mark 1 December – World AIDS Day.


1. Installation dedicated to Victims of Gender-Based Violence

28 Nov, Monday till 2 Dec, Friday | Nador 13 Lobby corner, and Nador 15 stairs (1st and 2nd floors)

The installation commemorates victims of various forms of gender-based violence in Hungary and around the world. In Hungary, on average, every week one woman dies as a result of domestic violence. Originally developed by NANE Women's Rights Association, the installation memorializes victims who died between November 2015 and October 2016 in Hungary. HRSI adds to the installation stories of transgender people who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice, as documented by the Transgender Day of Remembrance group and Transgender Europe. In this shocking, thought-provoking, and saddening exhibition, you will get the chance to stop for a few minutes to reflect on these stories and gain fresh determination to stand up against domestic and other kinds of violence.


2. Info Tables

12:00-14:00, 28 Nov, Monday and 1 Dec, Thursday | Nador 15 ground floor (in front of Estratto Café)

Come to get informative brochures on Understanding and Combating Gender-Based Violence and A Short Guide to Consensual Sex. Have fun posing and advocating for women’s and LGBTQI rights at our Gender Activist Photo Booth. Cool props, a photo frame and activist messages will be provided. The pictures will be shared on the HRSI Facebook page and Flickr.

The 1 Dec Info Table will also provide copies of A Practical Guide to Getting Tested for HIV/AIDS, and feature HIV/AIDS awareness messages for the photo booth.


3. Body Positivity Exhibition

5 Dec, Monday till 8 Dec, Thursday | Nador 9 Laptop Area

The exhibition celebrates female bodies in all forms and shapes, and challenges societal norms about female bodies. Each and every piece in this set of images is a first-person statement about their body and societal norms and conventions related to bodies. All photographs here are made and/or published by those who are present in the corresponding images. Graphics and a poem are produced by individual body-positivity activists. Please see the appendix below for the full description.


4. Movie Screening: ‘Southern Comfort’ (2001) (90min)

17:30, 7 Dec, Wednesday | Nador 9 Auditorium 

Synopsis: Set in the backwoods of Georgia (US), the documentary tells the real-life story of Robert Eads, a warm and gregarious cowboy who as a woman married and raised two sons, then transitioned to living as a man. The director follows Robert during the extraordinary last year of his life as he copes with ovarian cancer after 20 doctors refused him medical treatment, and falls headlong into a passionate romance with Lola, a transgendered male-to-female. A film portraying violence against transgender people in a less visible yet no less harmful form. A film highlighting the fight for basic human rights, and the desire to enjoy the simple pleasures of domestic life taken for granted by most of us.


Join the campaign's Facebook page. Hope to see many of you there.


We are also pleased to promote various other events organized by organizations based in Budapest dealing with gender-based violence. A prominent one, the Silent Witness March, will be held on 26 November, 14:00 – 17:00, starting at ELTE University, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences (Egyetem tér 1-3.) and ending in front of the Parliament. For details, please see the event’s Facebook page.

For a list of other events organized by NANE Women's Rights Association, please see here (page in Hungarian).


*The campaign originated from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991. This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29 - International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, and December 1 - World AIDS Day.



This is not an art exhibition in a full sense (though can be thought as such), but rather a political statement occupying the space of the Laptop area. Each and every piece in this set of images is a first-person statement about their body and societal norms and conventions related to bodies. All photographs here are made and/or published by those who are present on the corresponding images. Graphics and a poem are produced by individu- al body-positivity activists.

So, what it is about?

The simple idea that all bodies are beautiful is especially important in the society where fatphobia, ableism and racism are harming people with non- conventional bodies on the everyday basis. As abundant research shows, fat people are suffering discrimination, dehumanizing attitude and violence on working place, in public and private sphere only because of their bodies. Somehow, they (we) are perceived to be lazy, less smart, sexually undesirable, lack of will power and so on. In general, people feel entitled to comment on bodies of others, whom they see as overweight or in other ways different from beauty standards. Fatphobia is especially harmful for women who are believed to be obliged to look desirable for male gaze in hetero- sexist societies. Everywhere around us we see representations of slim, abled, hairless, white bodies as “ideal” and desirable, and only-norm. In fact, often public images of fat women, for example, in bikinis, are considered “obscene”, whereas the same kind of representations of thin bodies is seen as totally fine.

But does the statement “all bodies are beautiful” solve the major problem?

There are certain valuable critics raised against beauty-centrism and chasing the prettiness. In the world of binaries, when one claims “beauty” for the fat body, there is always space of ugliness somewhere, still there, and this ugliness is bad, exactly because beauty is valued. And it well may be, that even including fat, racialized, disabled bodies in the space of beauty, we don’t achieve much, since there still necessarily will be some bodies which are excluded from being beautiful. So, may be we should stop valorizing beauty altogether? May be we should ask ourselves, what our ugliness (ugliness of all of us) tells us? How does it enrich us? How come that it is inherently bad? It is very possible, that seriously considering and embracing ugliness is the next step. As great writer and community organizer Mia Mingus puts it: “There is magnificence in our ugliness. There is power in it, far greater than beauty can ever wield. […] I would rather you be magnificent, than beautiful, any day of the week. I would rather you be ugly—magnificently ugly”.

The exhibition is a part of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign at CEU. It is organized by Human RightS Initiative with the great support of CEU Gender Studies Department.