At first, there was some hesitation. I hear less, if any at all. Within ten years, the topic had become more democratic,” notes Estella Beverelli, curator with Sabine Schuent of the Gender Equality Space at Olympe de Gouges Media Library.
In March 2012, the multimedia library on Rue Cohn was selected by a committee that included Mayen Junpey, the municipal councilor responsible for women’s rights and gender equality, and Souad Al-Maysour, the elected public reading representative, to become the resource center on gender equality issues at Eurometropolis Strasbourg.
This media library was not randomly selected. “It had funding already and we were working on these issues as part of the lessons reception,” explains Emmanuel Bowden, Head of the Media Library. It was Estella Beverelli who launched this collective dynamic after receiving a training in 2007 on the equality of men and women. The management of the media library notably agreed to add the topic of equality between girls and boys among the topics proposed for the reception of the class and to organize an exhibition on equality.
For ten years, the Olympe de Gouges media library has continued its momentum, in keeping with the revolution that gave its name to the institution. With conferences, exhibitions, concerts by musicians … But it is not a matter of military action, as Emmanuel Boudin says: “It is not a struggle, our idea is universal.” Obviously, to offer as many people as possible the possibility to think about questions of equality, the status of women, in our society and in history, sexual differences, homosexuality, etc.
But what about the phrase “Happy Birthday Olympian” affixed to the flyers? “It’s not a coincidence, it’s a coincidence,” laughs Estella Beverelli, who didn’t think these winks would elicit so many comments.
To facilitate access to knowledge, the Gender Equality Space contains 1,600 documents. Some of them can be accessed directly. At the beginning of the year, this space moved to a more visible and comfortable location, in the reading room. Books, CDs, DVDs, newspaper articles and brochures written by associations and other structures working for gender equality are available.
There is also a summary of the Strasbourg City Action Plan 2022-2024 “For Women’s Rights and Gender Equality”. Estella Beverelli affirms that “what we do aligns with Goal 2: Irrigating the City with a Culture of Equality”. Other, more specialized works may be consulted upon request. And in the generic box, “We wear mugs that kind,” Sabine Schuent sums up. The slogan “+ just, + equal” is affixed to works that “deal with a sexual aspect, in the relationship between women and men.”
Curious people can borrow a bag containing four books chosen by librarians: the youth album “Péronille la chevaliere” by Marie Darrieussecq, “Ainsi-it-il” by Benote Groult, “The Machos Explained to My Brother” by Clémentine Autain and “Men and Women Build Difference” By Françoise Herter. “This is for one loan,” Sabine Schuent says.
The team would also like to remind you that the work of the Media Library can be viewed free of charge on the site. She’s preparing for an event on “Women’s Self-Defense” with Erin Zeilinger, author of No It’s No, a little self-defense handbook for all women tired of being upset without a word.
“Organizer. Social media geek. General communicator. Bacon scholar. Proud pop culture trailblazer.”