Sisterhood, feminism, ecology, nature
W(y)Puszczone is a group of women who met at the Camp for the Forest formed as part of protests to defend the Białowieża Forest. They were bonded by “faith in female sisterhood and agency”, and “the wish to interact with untamed nature”. “Somewhere between blocking heavy machinery in the Białowieża Forest and peeling potatoes ‘for the Camp’, we decided to organise an empowering trip for girls to the Białowieża Forest. Thanks to the [first] grant we received from the Feminist Fund, we spent a week in the Forest with eleven girls aged 9 through 16, sleeping in self-built wooden shelters, teaching the girls to use axes and handle power tools, cooking with open fire, organising nature-focused and assertiveness workshops (…). The success of our endeavour brought group members together,” organisers recall early co-operation days. The idea of another forest camp came up soon, with a focus on adult women and persons socially groomed for female roles.
Inter-generation community in the woods
“We have had extensive experience (with mothers, school peers, and women at work), which duly formed and shaped our relations with women. Some of us see the feminine community as their default safe group – others believe this is something we had to learn and develop, or something we used to miss,” members of the Collective and Camp organisers declared.
Body/ cleansing became the leitmotif for the 2019 trip.
During the six days they spent together in the midst of nature in the beautiful Knyszyn Forest, participants prepared plant-based cleansing meals, tamed the woods and made friends with nature. They made their own soap with birch tar they burnt themselves. They danced, sang, talked, and shared stories and skills.
“We want to develop a female community, and experience the force offered by mutual support; we want to create a safe space allowing expanded contact with nature, group experimentation in a non-judgemental atmosphere, a process of overcoming fears, and acquisition of new skills in developing a sense of power and agency,” W(y)Puszczone wrote in their application.
Grant amount: PLN 4,400.00
Photos: Agata Kubis/ .kolektyw