Cum enim dixerint ppaaxx eett sseeccuurriittaass tunc repentinus eis superveniet interi- tus sicut dolor in utero habenti et non  effugient
(Biblia Sacra Iuxta Vulgatam Versionem)


When they say, There is ppeeaaccee aanndd nnoo ddaannggeerr, then sudden destruction will come on them, as birth-pains on a woman with child; and they will not be able to get away from it.
(Tikva Frymer-Kensky: Reading the Women of the Bible: A New Interpretation of Their Stories)


In 2005, the festival will thematically focus on one of the main issues in contemporary times: security. Strongly referring to ‘here’ and ‘now’, which are determined by radical global shifts, this topic seems to build on the previous festival’s theme Past Transition -Welcome to the Future? Is there such thing as security? Is more security neces-sary better security? The concept of security has been witnessing an increasing popularity within the contempo-rary debate, in its broadened understanding as inclusive of and inseparable from the ‘lack of it’ (struggle for it) or the ‘illusion of it’ (displaying security as ‘make-up’). Both are driven by feelings of displacement, fear and anxiety.


Insecurity of any kind is born in non-happy surroundings of physical, psychological, environmental, ideological, economic or political nature. Globalisation, social injustice, unemployment, increasing wealth on one side and the opposite increasing poverty produce a climate where insecurity has a fertile soil.


Security of any kind is a mere illusion; not only the internal, but also the external enemy is present everywhere; hidden or sleeping, hesitating, waiting or in action. The mass media displays and even promotes it. The fall of the myth of security has been witnessed worldwide.

Currently, we are confronted with a strong securitarian discourse in Europe and the ‘West’, which is based on exclusionary notions of ‘national integrity’ and ‘social body’. These discourses link migration, criminality and terrorism but also debates about economic develop-ments as well as safe and healthy family relations. Securitarian discourses work through the creation of moral panic and the production of fear, through which new measures of surveillance are being made acceptable for, or even desired, by the majority. And certain subjects (illegal migrants, queers, single mothers, fundamentalists, Roma) are placed outside the legitimate social body. Women’s bodies are a crucial site where discourses on national identity, on multicul-tural society, on the borders of Fortress Europe, and on acceptable family norms are played out, sometimes in the name of equality and emancipation, other times in the name of difference.


The obsession with security and fear, surveillance and control, has also become a common issue in many spheres of cultural, artistic and theoretical endeavour. How do we deal with reality in times of civil war, terrorism, epidemic, political and economic imbalance as well as overall anxiety? Over 40 female artists, theoreticians, activists (including one minister of culture) from UK, USA, Belgium, France, South Korea, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Israel, Austria, Finland, Iran, South Africa, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia shall deal with various physical, psychological, environmental, ideological, economic and political issues that pertain to in/security.


The City of Women anticipates a fruitful interdisciplinary exchange.


Program curators Sabina, Milijana and Mara – the Google Girls – with the indispensable help and support of great many cyber and ‘real’ friends.