What is a Feminist Server?

A Feminist Server was born at the TransHackFeminist Convergence, which happened this summer in Calafou (Catalona). The raison d’etre for the creation of a feminist server is to start creating independent and autonomous feminist infrastructures to resist: the (digital) targeting of women, feminist, queer and transgendered individuals (in particular, but not exclusively as also targeted are people of color, migrants, refugees, etc.), the centralization of the internet and its transformation into a consumption sanctuary and a space of surveillance, control and tracking of dissent voices by government agencies, among others. All these factors and more have led to a situation where the internet is not a safe space and where it is common to see feminist and activist work being deleted, censored, and/or prevented from being seen, heard or read. Freedom of expression is part of the feminist/queer/trans struggle and a feminist server is one of the multiple ways to ensure that our right to speak up remains accessible online, offline and wherever and under any format of expression. There will be no feminist internet (see e.g. APC Feminist Principles of the Internet) without properly managed autonomous feminist servers.

During the First Feminist Server Summit held in Brussels in December 2013, there was an attempt to define what a feminist server is. The collective of people present came out with:

A Feminist server…..

– Is a situated technology.
– It is run for and by a community that cares enough for her/they to exist.
– It builds on the materiality of software, hardware and the bodies gathered around it.
– It opens herself/themselves to expose processes, tools, sources, habits, patterns.
– It knows that networking is actually an awkward, promiscuous and parasitic practice.
– It is autonomous in the sense that she/they decide for her/they own dependencies.
– It treats technology as part of a social reality, and finally
– It takes the risk of exposing her/they insecurity while trying hard not to apologies when she/they sometimes is/are not available.