Through our Spark grants, Mama Cash supports local feminist initiatives by adding fuel to the feminist fire here in the Netherlands. In November 2019 we put out a call for applications for the second annual round of Spark grants, and we were excited to learn about some of the feminist, anti-racist and LBTIQ+ organising happening in the Netherlands as the responses came in.
The only downside was that we couldn't possibly support all of the 70-plus applications we received. The Spark Steering Committee, made up of seven activists from across a range of social justice movements in the Netherlands, had long and difficult conversations before they ultimately decided to support 14 diverse groups doing urgent and important work.
We are thrilled to introduce you to the 14 Spark portfolio grantee-partners for 2019-2020!
Black Ladies of Groningen (BLOG)
Black Ladies of Groningen (BLOG) is a support network founded by Black students in Groningen. Whether it is through African-themed game evenings, networking events, movie nights or informative workshops, BLOG is their method for creating a safe space and increasing the volume of Black women’s voices as a community in Groningen.
Feministas en Holanda
Feministas en Holanda was founded in August 2018 by a group of Latin American women living in the Netherlands who were driven to support the campaign against abortion in Argentina. Today, the collective organises actions to raise awareness about the situation of women and LBTIQ+ people in Latin America as well as the Latin American migrant women community in the Netherlands.
Fossil Free Feminists
The formation of Fossil Free Feminists was motivated by the fact that women* (the asterisk refers to women in all of their gender diversity, i.e. cis and trans women, girls and gender non-binary people) are hit the hardest by the climate crisis and environmental degradation. This collective of young feminists, formed in December 2018, is fighting against the destruction of our environment and climate and the parallel deepening of gender, racial and economic injustices. Fossil Free Feminists is making waves by bringing together feminists and climate activists alike, and by developing campaigns as well as taking to the streets.
Fufu & Dadels
Fufu & Dadels is a podcast where Black women and women of colour talk about intercultural sisterhood and their experiences growing up outside of the main urban areas in the Netherlands. Presented by millennial women, the podcast does not shy away from intimate taboo-breaking table conversations. The hosts ask each other and their guests critical life questions about feminism and gender roles, about traditions and sexuality, and about mental health and healing.
Formed in 2015 as an offshoot of the GenderBenderQueerParty, Gender Clowns is a support network for non-binary, trans, fat and neuro-diverse people. Gender Clowns currently facilitates five support groups that are both for and by people from a particular community. Through these support groups, the network wants to create safe places where everyone can feel free to express themselves.
Hopeful Migrant Lesbian Women
Hopeful Migrant Lesbian Women is a small group of lesbian and bisexual migrant women, including women who have not yet started their immigration processes. The group aims to bring together the voices of migrant lesbian women with the goal of ending the stigma and discrimination they encounter both in Dutch asylum centres and in society at large.
Kick Out Zwarte Piet womxn
Kick Out Zwarte Piet womxn, initiated by Black women and women of colour involved in the Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) movement, has the goal of ensuring the wellbeing and representation of the group’s women. KOZP womxn are concerned about the increasing aggression during anti-racism actions, including the annual visit of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) accompanied by the traditional ‘Black Petes’. In addition to a Sinterklaas party that is inclusive for all children, they are calling for KOZP activism and protests to be safe for womxn.
Man.ish Cave developed out of the desire and necessity to provide a safe and inclusive space for trans masculine individuals on the female-to-male (FTM) spectrum, particularly for people of colour and refugees. Given that adequate support for these groups is lacking, particularly for non-Dutch speakers, Man.ish Cave aims to provide a space where members of this community can feel free to express their gender identities and sexuality and to support one another.
Mil Colores has been striving for an inclusive society over the past 20 years, particularly for the equality, visibility and social acceptance of bicultural LBT women. In collaboration with other organisations, they organise activities and events for this group, who otherwise receive little recognition in the LGBTQI+ world.
The Queer Feminist Action Logistics working group of Code Rood
Since 2016, Code Rood (Code Red) has been fighting the fossil fuel industry in the Netherlands. Their ‘Shell Must Fall’ campaign was launched following two successful actions: one in the Amsterdam Harbour against coal, and the other focused on gas infrastructure in Groningen. The Queer Feminist Action Logistics (QFAL) working group within Code Rood hopes to build on the many efforts that have been made to tackle oppressive power dynamics along the lines of gender and race in the climate movement in the past, and to contribute to a global climate justice movement that is accessible to all. They are committed to elevating folx into organising positions that are usually occupied by white cis males, and want to disrupt traditional toxic role divisions that often make the work of female, trans and non-binary people seem invisible or less valuable.
Red Insight is an online platform that seeks to amplify the voices of sex workers in the Netherlands. Instead of featuring stories about sex workers written by others, Red Insight was established by sex workers and sex workers will write and publish their own stories. The platform will combine news with both policy analysis and human interest stories.
Sard is a visual storytelling project that has been active since the beginning of 2019. In one year, they successfully documented 20 stories, visualised ten stories, and published a series of five stories. The stories depict the sexual and physical experiences of women and queer people from Arabic-speaking countries in West Asia and North Africa, as well as from the diaspora in the Netherlands. Sard’s aim is to depict experiences that are censored in the public sphere and to pave the way for women, non-binary and queer people to narrate their own realities. Through visual stories, Sard presents an alternative discourse about identities and realities as well as the history of women, non-binary and queer identities.
Sex Workers Against Violence (SAVE)
Sex Workers Against Violence (SAVE) is a new activist group of sex workers who organise themselves for better rights for sex workers and for the destigmatisation of sex work. They combat repressive and criminalising policies such as the Sex Work Regulation (WRS) by informing sex workers about the changing political situation in the Netherlands and what the consequences are for them. They also want to educate the general public by raising the voices and drawing attention to the rights of sex workers.
Womxn's Circle is a support network for and by queer Muslim womxn. These womxn experience exclusion and a lack of representation in today’s queer and Islamic communities, and they would like to change that. Through Womxn’s Circle they have created a safe setting where they can discuss different subjects, shape their multiple and complex identities, and build a powerful network. Womxn's Circle would like to make its own zine and start a talk show.