NAYA| Kohl Journal: Amplifying feminism in Lebanon and beyond

The Editor-in-Chief stressed on the key priority of Kohl to increase public accessibility to information and feminist discourse.
by Helena Murphy

5 July 2019 | 12:21

Source: by Annahar

  • by Helena Murphy
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 5 July 2019 | 12:21

Photo courtesy of Kohl.

BEIRUT: “Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research,” is a self-identifying feminist publication. Since 2015, the journal has released five issues on various subjects such as reproductive justice, sexuality, and gendered violence.

Its latest issue, “Organizing against the tide: Alternative Economies and Gendered Labor,” was launched in June following a two-day conference that comprised panels on a range of topics.

“The journal came to cover a gap in feminist sexuality platforms,” Ghiwa Sayegh, editor-in-chief of the journal, told Annahar as she discussed the idea behind Kohl.

With the assistance of Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Kohl seeks to project different voices within the feminist movement without being representative of anyone in particular.

“We are not representing anyone. We do not claim to represent, we aim to push for a discourse,” said Sayegh.

The aim of the journal is to critique narratives that have historically misrepresented the situation of women in Lebanon.

“When it comes to knowledge around feminism and feminist histories, we do feel that there have been injustices in terms of what has been transmitted and what has been historicized,” said Sayegh.

Additionally, the Editor-in-Chief stressed that the key priority of Kohl is to increase public accessibility to information and feminist discourse.

“The premise of Kohl is open access to knowledge,” Sayegh added.

Kohl intentionally chose to work with those who often don’t have access to publication, such as fresh graduates, independent writers, and activists. This choice is a part of a conscious effort to open up publication and informed discourse to those outside of the academic world.

Farah Baba, a recent graduate from the American University of Beirut and one of the contributors to the journal's fifth issue, told Annahar that she considers Kohl to be a means of “disseminating public knowledge outside of the academic sphere.”

The latest issue is a reflection of this endeavor to promote accessibility. Its launching event had no entrance fee and involved panelists from different backgrounds and areas of the world.

“Our activism takes many forms, but I think the form that we want to reclaim the most is the discursive aspect; it is an essential one,” Sayegh told Annahar.

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