AS LONG AS mighty men believe they are the almighty, I will be a feminist.
DOKLER bodo nekateri gospodje verjeli, da so bog, bom feminist_ka.
In 2021, two AS LONG AS nets were installed on the bell tower of the City Parish of Klagenfurt as part of INS FREIE / NA PROSTO, a bilingual German/Slovenian project that has implemented cultural interventions in Carinthia since 2016.
Power, No Power, Empower
The path to equality is a long one, particularly when it comes to the Catholic church. We were delighted that the local diocese decided to actively take part in the development of our sentence. It is the core mission of AS LONG AS to get everyone on board and a close dialogue with the people who live and work on site is essential to our process. Parish priest Peter Allmaier interpreted the sentence as follows: “Some mighty men believe they are god. However, believing is not the same as knowing and these men have no idea. A sense of idea is what we need in order to recognize the connection between believing and trust. ‘I believe you,’ is something we say to each other. It is not some random act, bit is an act of trust. If you trust that god is god, you will have no need to play god. … It is a sign of ignorance to turn difference into a practice of inequality, of discrimination. As long as this happens, I will stand on the side of those who are discriminated, of those whose rights are not recognized. As long as this happens, I will be a feminist.”
The artist and her team not only address the institution of the church with their sentence, but also call out mighty men in politics and business. We are still waiting for their contributions to a society with more fairness and equality. Since the beginning of the pandemic, women have been experiencing the darkest aspects of inequality: violence in the very place that should provide safety and comfort: their home. The rising number of femicides in Austria drastically proves this. Men who believe they have the right to take their (ex)partners lives or treat them as objects or property they can rule, only reveal the tip of the iceberg of systemic violence in our society. Perhaps Cibulka’s art intervention could inspire some men to reflect their behaviour?
“Our aim is a society of solidarity and discourse between all genders at eye level. It is our greatest goal to put unity before separation and invite as many people as possible into the conversation. People who cannot voice their unease, their frustrations, their anger will ultimately resort to violence. Optimism is my motor,” Cibulka continues. “If I wasn’t an optimist, I couldn’t be a feminist. Mighty men need to step down from their positions of power and hand them over to people that put collaboration before confrontation. I deeply believe that our feminist causes can only be solved if we work together.”
FLUX23, KD BARBA and Baukulturjahr 2021 / Architektur Haus Kärnten
In cooperation with:
Mädchenzentrum Klagenfurt, Pfarre St. Egyd and Slovenian translator Daniela Kocmut
Land Kärnten Kultur, BMKOES, Frauenreferat des Landes Kärnten, der Stadt Klagenfurt Kultur und dem Stadt Klagenfurt Büro für Frauen & Chancengleichheit
© photo credits: Christian Brandstaetter