Families otherwise

Discussion / 90'

Who in Slovenia can be a parent and who is childless against their will due to legal obstacles? How to render parenthood a social matter, beyond wider blood relations and institutions? How to revolt against the idealisation and essentialisation of motherhood? In what kinds of family forms do we live and what kinds of family forms would we want? We shall be discussing all these questions, despite conservative and liberal standpoints that would dictate their answers to us.

Today, in Slovenia, public discussions about what a family is and who can be a parent are dictated by conservatism. It has been so successful at it, that it has anchored itself into laws that have been experienced most painfully by single women and lesbian and gay couples who want children. Although liberal standpoints are gentler, they are limited to the perception of a family being a community of two grown-ups, if possible, spouses, who are successfully joining their careers with the upbringing of, at most, two kids.

The fact that the statistics does not correspond to this does not help. Since 1981, it considers also extramarital and unmarried mothers as family – and in 2015, almost 60% of all children were born in such families, out of which one-fourth were single-parent families. Since 2015, same-sex partner communities with children have finally been included into families. But there exist also other forms of families, which are not included into the statistics and laws. For instance, more people can take on the parental role: in extended multi-generational families, these include blood relatives, whereas in self-organised communities of political relatives, these are friends and comrades, whilst, moreover, in polyamorous relations, these are more partners.

The public discussion will be based on the legal definition of family. We shall ask ourselves whether Article 53 of the Slovenia’s constitution indeed also protects lesbian and gay families, and whether it creates the ‘necessary conditions for this protection.’ We will ask ourselves whether deciding on giving birth really is a free choice when the government is preventing a whole segment of the women population from getting pregnant by means of artificial insemination, and, moreover, what this means for women who are, nevertheless, becoming mothers in such circumstances.

How do we face this extreme idealisation and essentialisation of motherhood? In what forms of families do we live and what kinds of families would we want? Moreover, how do we render parenthood a social matter beyond kindergartens and schools, displacing care work and housework from the personal sphere, where it has always already been, into society?

We invite you to join the exchange of experiences and standpoints about family and parenthood beyond conservative and liberal frameworks, alongside and regardless of the existing formal legal obstacles.

Moderator: Tea Hvala
Guests: Anna Linder (Sweden), Roman Kuhar, Maja Šorli, Estela Žutić, Gilles Duvivier (Slovenia)

// in English //

Free entry. 

In frame of the project Performing Gender - Dance makes differences.

Production and organization: City of Women. In cooperation with Bunker.

Date and time of event: 
Oct 09th 17:00
Place of event: 
Old Power Station
Photo gallery: