Last 2 BPoC Self Care Day for Women*/Non-Binary/Trans*/Inter/Femmes at WE DEY x SPACE ♥
selfcareday fb event pic
* Sonntag, 24. März 2019; 15:00 – 18:00
Self Care Sunday x Healing Session with Tobi Nicole Adebajo

Collective healing is a language of conversation that is infinite and urgent. When black and brown folx come together with honest intentions, for whatever reason/s – the results can be beautiful and transformative. This is why we invite you to Self-care Sunday – because caring for the self does not have to mean isolation.
Spiritual and emotional health is not enough a part of our daily considerations as it should be – especially as BiPOC – This space aims to unpack this. Serving as a preparatory time that can help us consider the many ways we can make our spiritual practices symbiotic with our ever evolving lives.

Formulating answers to questions such as what does blessings mean to each of us? and how we can manifest that through our varying routines?
We will gather with the clear intention of creating practical, useful, decolonial and ancestrally rooted approaches to guide us on our journey/s towards healing & existing intentionally.

You are invited to bring along with you (optionally) a piece of writing that you would like to share in a safe space with like minded folx, a white item, some shells, an item that holds a lot of meaning to / for you

Writing materials will be provided – although it is welcomed and perfectly understandable if you already have your individual journals/books for ritualistic introspection.

About the facilitator:
Tobi Nicole Adebajo is a community-focused Queer, Non- Binary Activist, Educator, Hair Stylist, Parent, Poet, Performer, Singer, Writer & Yoruba Spiritual Practitioner who works with prowess – centring their work on the depths and nuances of topics such as queer love, politics, g(end)er & Yoruba culture.
They’ve performed and shared works and projects in various venues around Nigeria & Europe, continuing to create pieces that resonate with many.

*******************

To our invitation policy:
These events are specifically for Black/Brown/of Color Women*/Non-Binary/Trans*/Inter/Femmes! Please don’t assume anyones gender identity or pronouns – ask everyone for their preferred pronouns.

Cis Men (means men who were assigned male at birth and identify with it) and white people are not invited to our BPoC SelfCare Sundays.
♥ If you want to support WE DEY, please do that by supporting us financially and coming to events which are open to the public ♥

Accessibility: 
X SPACE is accessible via a ramp. The ramp is 76 cm wide and the slope is 9 %. For more information please contact us!
The closest wheelchair accessible toilet is @ Café Oben, Urban-Loritz-Platz. It’s a five minutes distance.

In conversation with Parissima Taheri – Maynard
‘Sunanda Mesquita for WE DEY

parissima

How would you like to be introduced to someone who doesn’t know you yet?

Hi my name is Parissima, I’m Vienniese, half Bahamian and quarter Iranian 🙂 I’m a minority mental health advocate training in clinical psychology here in Vienna. I am Viennese, I’m a woman of colour.

How would you position yourself within the frame of psychology? Are there projects/community projects/professionals in general that inspire you to do the work you do?

As I mentioned I want to specialise in minority mental health as I think it is a field that does not get enough attention in Austria – in a lack of psychological culturally- sensitive practice as well as in research and theory. I love what Therapy for Black Girls is doing in the USA and it was a big inspiration when I started – a directory of mental health professionals of colour for everyone to find someone they may feel comfortable opening up to. I realised I couldn’t actually find enough mental health professionals of colour in Vienna to actually put on a database, so I decided to create a space for it. I also lead a mental and social health project with young refugees which was my first actual work experience in the field of minority mental health and just pushed my motivation harder. Another experience I made was in a work-placement at an Eating DIsorder Clinic where I work in the diagnostic phase however not in further ongoing treatment. Various women of colour clients particularly asked me if I can be their psychologist for the next part of their treatment, because I “looked like them”. It made me recognise the urge that many of us share to open up to people where we assume they share a general experience with us, even if that’s being a minority in a “white” country. We criticize “colour-blindness” in all forms of society, yet we still accept that psychology in this country is considered to be colour-blind and that filtering professionals by these details is unnecessary. I strongly disagree and want to offer the opportunity to those who may think like me and feel they want or need that.

Can you tell us a little bit about your project “Wir sind auch Wien” – “We too are Vienna”? And what role community plays in your practice in general?

I created Wir sind auch Wien out of the motivation to create a platform for minority mental health for BPOCs in various different forms. It started as a facebook page where I share articles, motivational memes, thoughts, etc. for the community, but will increasingly also offer workshops, lectures and sit downs, etc. for the community to take part in if they want. I want to bring openness about mental health to the community and allow us to bond over something we all have and feel on a spectrum in everyday life. I want to counteract the strong taboo connected to speaking about our mental health and our worries, and provide the knowledge and theory so that everyone can know and understand what they are going through. It is important to me to also collectively decolonise our thinking about psychology, healing and mental health and remember that sharing and healing together is an indigenous key strategy while the idea of having to suffer in silence is something new, learned and dangerous. Within the framework I also want to, and invite others to, add to minority mental health research here in Austria. In the future I also want to supply certified psychological diagnostics and treatment to the community, as well as support bringing more minorities into the field through trainings, internships, etc.

We were really excited to receive your proposal for our Open Call- as we have been talking about mental health for a while and have been discussing the lack of access to BIPoC therapists in Vienna. What sparked your interest in applying for the Open Call at WE DEY x SPACE?

I loved reading the open call and what you are doing. I was looking for something like We Dey for most of my life here in Vienna, so it already spoke to me on that level. I did realise that the focus was mainly on art, however, and due to the fact that I was not an artist I wasn’t sure how to best get involved. Still, I decided why not reach out with my idea. In the worst case you won’t have space for it but will know someone or someplace that might. I was so excited to hear your reaction to my application and how necessary you too found what I was trying to offer. It strengthened my idea so much, feeling that what I was missing was also being missed by other members of the community and would be appreciated.

Can you tell us more about your project “Mental Health and WellBeing as BIPoC in Vienna” which you are planning together with Esther Ojo at WE DEY x space? Is it still open for BIPoCs to join?

My idea was to create a regular meeting with people within the community focused on BPOC mental health – literally in any form desired. We had a first kind of “information evening” session in January and about 15 amazing, open, genuine and authentic BPOCs came ready to start a regular conversation about mental health. I introduced myself and had some surveys and questionnaires that showed really precise trends. Almost all in the group have seeked mental health support before, all are very aware of their own mental health and its struggles, and, luckily, almost all of them claimed they are able to openly speak about their mental health at home with friends or/and family. The results surprised me, this is obviously not a very representative outcome when looking at the whole population, and specifically at minority populations. It’s wonderful to start our first regular sessions with a group that is quite homogenous in its approach to mental health, and who all already have a lot of knowledge and self-reflection. I do hope that after this group more BPOCs get in touch to whom this topic may be more of a burden or who may have more inhibitions concerning speaking about mental health, who perhaps do not have the possibility or the dynamics set up to speak about this in their personal life and who didn’t show up immediately at the first offered opportunity. I hope to reach them too. At the moment we are setting up the first closed group that we seem to have about 15 members for, so unless many don’t take part in the last minute I will not take in any more members, but there will absolutely be more groups so anyone who wants can just facebook message me and I’ll keep them posted.

I really like the idea that the sessions are in a Do-It-Together format and that the participants can actively co-create the circumstances of the sessions -the frequency as well as the content- is that a common form or did you try something new?

The idea came from the fact that I want to come at these mental health circles in an informal way. This is not a replacement to any form of psychological treatment or group therapy and I too have a lot to learn from what the community really requires and needs. I did not want to set up anything just based on what I feel is missing, I wanted to better understand what the community wanted for communal healing and collective care. A lot of our first information meeting was that – discussing options of what we can do with the regular space We Dey was offering us. Within this first group the answers were quite clear and we decided on these mental health circles every 2 weeks for 3 hours with one fixed group that stays the same in order to support trust and care. In a questionnaire that listed various different topics the 10-most-circled topics were chosen as the themes for the 10 sessions. It’s interesting to note that “race related stress” was circled by every single member. I decided to divide that subject into two sessions – external (discrimination, …) and internal (identity, …). It was voted that all sessions will be a mixture of theory provided by me and lots of sharing and discussing experiences and tips to best deal So for this group, thats how this will look! I am excited to hold another information session with new people and determine what context they’d get the most out of.

What´s you approach to creating these spaces of healing across all differences -race, class, experiences, ability, gender identity and sexuality- within the BIPoC community?

One of the highlights of creating Wir sind auch Wien was being invited by the Center of Intersectional Justice in Berlin to their Community Open Space last year. There I was able to meet activists from all over Europe and we created an environment where different people held workshops about topics vital to them and we were able to choose what workshops to take part in. I invited whoever was interested to join a workshop on collective healing, where I was able to speak to a group of people across a range of racial, sexual, socio-economic identities as well as people with different disabilities about what they require to heal collectively on a psychological level. The conversation was incredibly interesting and emotional, and had a great impact in how much I want to underline intersectionality in my work, and how I believe absolutely everyone, no matter what field they work and move around in, should do the same. Just becoming more aware of what people with various overlapping experiences confront and feel is the first step of being able to offer support.

Is there something else you would like to share with us?

Thanks so much for supporting my work and offering me the space to bring my ideas together with the community!!!

Thank you so much! ❤

 

English:

What`s worth fighting for? Which expectations do we have for coalitions? What do we need to build coalitions? What can we do in order to prevent activist burn outs? How can we deal with different experiences, strategies, goals, perspectives, knowledges and expectations within coalitions?

With input from Bernice Johnson Reagon, Audre Lorde, Cathy Cohen ua. in form of short texts, we want to close in on those questions and connect them to our own experiences.

This workshop is for and by Black People and People of Color, there is no participation fee. Please sign up via an email to frauenreferat@oeh.univie.ac.at
Let us know if you need childcare.

Deutsch:

Wofür lohnt es sich zu kämpfen? Welche Erwartungen haben wir an Bündnispolitiken? Was brauchen wir, um Bündnisse eingehen und aufrecht erhalten zu können? Worauf müssen wir achten, um nicht im activist burn out zu landen? Wie können wir mit unterschiedlichen Positionierungen, Erfahrungen, Strategien, Zielen, Zugängen, Wissensständen und Erwartungen innerhalb von Bündnissen umgehen?
Anhand von kurzen Textausschnitten (Bernice Johnson Reagon, Audre Lorde, Cathy Cohen ua.) wollen wir uns diesen Fragen annähern und sie mit unseren eigenen Erfahrungen verbinden.
Dieser Workshop richtet sich an Black and People of Color, die Teilnahme ist kostenlos. 

Bitte meldet euch mit einer kurzen Mail an frauenreferat@oeh.univie.ac.at mit Betreff BPoC Workshop Bündnispolitiken an.
Bitte gebt Bescheid, sofern ihr Kinderbetreuung benötigt.

WS-Leitende: 
Sushila Mesquita arbeitet und lehrt seit vielen Jahren zu postkolonial-queeren Theorien und intersektionalen Feminismen und ist Teil des we-dey Kollektivs sowie des Beirats von Maiz.

Sunanda Mesquita ist bildende Künstlerin, Community Organiser, Kuratorin und Mitbegründerin von WE DEY x SPACE in Wien. (we-dey.in) In ihrer künstlerischen Praxis konzentriert sie sich auf die Möglichkeiten einer radikalen, utopischen, queeren, feministischen Kollektivität von Schwarzen Menschen und People of Colour und die Themen Community, Solidarität und Zugehörigkeit. Ihre Illustrationen sind unter dem alias @decolonial_killjoy zu finden.

This BIPoC Self Care Day for Women*/Non-Binary/Trans*/Inter/Femmes is in focus of “Mental Health and WellBeing as BIPoC in Vienna” and is hosted by Parissima and WE DEY!

♥ About the session on the 13th of January:

3pm: arriving, getting to know each other

4pm: doors close for session

!! ♥♥Please send an email if you are planning to take part- drop ins are also welcome but its easier for us to prepare if we know how many want to come for sure! we.dey.in@gmail.com

!! ♥♥please be here before 4pm as we will start the session at 4pm sharp

♥ We begin the get-to-gether at the SelfCare Day on the 13th of January with focus on mental health for BIPoC in Vienna. In terms of gender/sexual orientation/etc. we will follow the invitation policy of the SelfCare Day, however the focus will be on racial identity rather than sexual identity (even though we are well aware all forms of identity are interlinked). We plan to sit in a trusting circle with you all and have a conversation about the general feeling of racial identity and inclusion in Vienna as a BIPoC, but also about access to the local mental health sector – what may be missing, what would help us find what we need, who would we go to, to feel understood, etc. We would like to discuss possible futures together!

Possibile futures: Do-it-together format

Depending on the ideas and needs of the group that are discussed during the selfcare day, one possibility would be to organise continuous (perhaps every 2 weeks) group sessions for a group of BIPoC (perhaps 6-10 people per group, that remain the same for a semester for

example) to provide a safe space to discuss mental health topics for PoC, reflect

together, exchange experiences, feel supported, and promote ideas of self love and

care. Or singular events focusing on specific topics such as f.e. depression, anxiety, self care, experiences of racialisation, social media overflow, preparation for the (family) holidays etc.

These events can be offered in german and/or english

♥ About Parissima:

I’m a social scientist with a focused on cultural, racial, physical, political and sexual identity in our life. I studied my BA in Social Anthropology at SOAS, did my MA in Psychoanalytic Studies at the TavistockClinic (both in London), and am now doing my MSc in Clinical Psychology at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna.

My attention to mental stability and the promotion of self love has been present in my training on a theoretic level and within myself on a personal level. My content is a mixture of my professional training from an anthropological and psychological perspective, as well as my own experiences as a mixed race, Austrian PoC trying to bathe myself in self generosity to counteract anxiety and past panic attacks.

This BIPoC Self Care Day for Women*/Non-Binary/Trans*/Inter/Femmes is in focus of “Mental Health and WellBeing as BIPoC in Vienna” and is realised as part of the WE DEY Open Call for proposals.

********************

We aim to create a space of support for and by women*/non-binary/trans*/inter/femmes. A space to connect to each other, to get to know each other better, to work on alliances and future projects. A space that allows us to think and voice our needs and wishes/visions.♥

*******************

To our invitation policy:

These events are specifically for Black/Brown/of Color Women*/Non-Binary/Trans*/Inter/Femmes! Please don’t assume anyones gender identity or pronouns – ask everyone for their preferred pronouns.

Cis Men (means men who were assigned male at birth and identify with it) and white people are not invited to our BPoC SelfCare Sundays.

♥ If you want to support WE DEY, please do that by supporting us financially and coming to events which are open to the public ♥

X SPACE is accessible via a ramp. The ramp is 76 cm wide and the slope is 9 %. For more information please contact us!

The closest wheelchair accessible toilet is @ Café Oben, Urban-Loritz-Platz. It’s a five minutes distance.