FundAction Talks never stops! Even during the Summer Break, our member Diana Filimon hosted many other inspiring conversations around the #Resist Grant experiences and projects.

In the Talk#5 “The Koko Slam Gang – Slam Poetry Done by Congolese Women”, Joelle Sambi Nzeba – Congolese writer, poet, and lesbian activist based in Brussels, FA member, co-chair of EuroCentralAsian Lesbian Community and member of Mothers and Daughters – a Lesbian* and Trans* Bar* – told us about her personal path as a poet and activist, toward Café Congo & the creation of the Koko Slam Gang, which she initiated.

FA Resist-Granted slam poetry project Koko Slam Gang is a 12 elderly Congolese women group, between 65 and 88 years old, with whom she works on a slam poetry show for seniors. “The Koko Slam gang is an urgent project because the voices of these grandmothers, migrants who have known everything about the torments of Belgian-Congolese relations from before independence to the present days, are disappearing. Their experiences shed light on what is at stake in the political struggles we lead today as Belgian-Congolese activists, as lesbians”. The Resist Grant serves the purpose of community building during the pandemic, keeping the conversation alive by providing the participants with internet connection and tablets. Furthermore, the Resist grant supports the survival of Café Congo, the political and militant place where rehearsals with the Koko Slam Gang usually take place, in preparation for the next show in Belgium, in 2021. “I see and practice poetry as a tool for revolution and liberation. Poetry open to the public to the unexpected because it allows you to express your point of view differently, in a less frontal way”.

Talk#6 “Civic Sparks in Novi Belgrade” invited Dobrica Veselinović (Belgrade) – active in the civil sector, in the claim for public spaces and greater participation of citizens in decision-making processes related to urban development – to discuss about the project Block 22, in New Belgrade.
Association Block 22 was created in 2017 with the desire to improve the living conditions and the immediate environment in Block, which today has a total of 1500 apartments and about 7000 inhabitants. Activities in the neighborhood extend from collective clean up and gardening of the common areas to kids caring and the organization of the New Year’s celebration, including fireworks. The empowering essence of such local activities has made itself felt even more during the Pandemic. Resist grant has allowed Block 22 to organize and guarantee solidarity aids and activities such as disinfection of all buildings and the surrounding public spaces which are not under maintenance of the municipality; purchase of additional disinfectants; distribution of solidarity packages of food for about 30 families living in the neighborhood. “This is just a natural continuation of our daily efforts our the neighborhood since 2017. We began by fixing small things, empowering ourselves, learning how to cooperate with each other, and where it is our place in this common coordination of city life. And I think this is the only sustainable way to change something and to go toward progressive democratization: when we are able to organize at the lowest level, in our local communities”.

Follow the blog or our Anchor page to stay updated with the upcoming FundAction Talks about the projects granted by the FA Public Health Grants 2020.

Stay tuned!