Dear RCDF community,
We hope you and your loved ones are doing well. We are writing this newsletter right after an intense and transformative three days of Global Fashioning Assembly 2022 (GFA22). After the worst fatigue starts to subside, gratitude is by far the prevalent emotion we are experiencing as well as the foremost response we are receiving from all corners of the world. Incredible gratitude and humility that so many diverse communities and voices offered their trust to invite us in and witness their local conversations, challenging struggles and hopeful aspirations for their fashioning future.
‘It was an honour to be welcomed by such incredible collectives, hosts, projects and positions from around the world’ (Erica de Greef, South Africa).
‘There was so much learning. There were so many insights. There was such diversity. You met your goals! The whole event brings tears to my eyes. It was so monumental!’ (Sandra Niessen, Netherlands).
‘It was truly magical to see how the tiny acorn that was planted in one of our meetings a while ago had become something so big and so meaningful’ (Sarah Cheang, United Kingdom).
‘Engaging with visitors one-on-one like this and asking what is personally meaningful to them about their own fashion, or the art, or the museum itself is empowering. I think we mean to keep peacefully disrupting the use of museum spaces and offering new ways to claim and take up that space!!’ (Amanda Maples, North Carolina).
‘We think it is a special initiative and are grateful and proud that we have been able to do this. We sincerely hope that many more GFAs will follow and that the movement may grow in a beautiful way’ (Joan den Exter, Netherlands).
Twelve coalitions in fourteen countries across six continents, eventually shared 36 hours of local conversations, programmes and sharing councils, bringing-together-in-relation a diversity of local fashioning histories, knowledges and practices. We got to experience what it truly means to learn-by-doing, to practice decoloniality in curating a worldwide gathering around body fashioning and to decentralise ways of working collectively, creating knowledge and sharing experiences.
Although the GFA may have been initiated by the RCDF, it has been clear from the beginning that to be truly decentral, it needs to be independent as a platform by local communities, for local communities; from grassroots to global. Although the RCDF will hopefully always be part of it, it will now go its own way, travel its own journey as the coalitions continue working collaboratively to co-create an online open-access database on the GFA website, Instagram and YouTube and continue to convene monthly to reflect, (un)learn and plan for the GFA24.
Furthermore, we would also like to give you an update on our recurring projects, like the monthly Conversations on Decoloniality and Fashion and our next Annual General Meeting (AGM22), which will also be the occasion to present the second edition of our digital RCDF Zine as well as the second edition of the Decolonial Visual Arts, introducing a one-minute-video section.
We hope you enjoy reading the full newsletter as much as we enjoyed writing it 🙂
The RCDF team