Icelandic Women’s Strike of 24th October 1975
Tue 1 Nov, 7pm
SPACE Mare Street
led by Lynne Friedli and Valeria Graziano
This meeting of the Feminist Duration Reading Group, on Tuesday 1 November, focuses on the Icelandic women’s strike of 24th October 1975. Through readings from Marie Elizabeth Johnson’s chapter on this mass withdrawal of female labour – in which 90% of women participated, bringing the country to a standstill as schools, shops, nurseries and fish factories shut down or ran a half capacity, while men performed caring and domestic labour – we explore the contemporary potential for a gender strike. We also consider how a radical gesture of resistance can be reframed by the more cautious language of celebration.
The session is inspired by the current project ‘Speculations for a radical, feminist strike: workshop and experiment,’ which reflects on the Icelandic women’s action, forty years later. Informed by anti-work politics and practice, project researchers Valeria Graziano, Lynne Friedli, and Holly Pester ask, is a gendered strike is still necessary (and/or possible) for trans and cis-gendered women and non-binary people today?
Together we will read sections from ‘Kvennafridagurinn,’ chapter six of Marie Elizabeth Johnson’s 1984 PhD thesis Women in Iceland.
We will read out loud, together, on the evening.