Gabriela Fiter (PL)
1ST WAVE – A game about the beginnings of emancipation
M.A. project
Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków
Prof. Władysław Targosz
The “first wave wave of emancipation” began long ago, more or less in the mid 19th century. It was the suffragists who fought for women’s basic rights, without which we could hardly imagine a well-functioning modern society. The rights to vote, education, and work are for us so “utterly natural” that in our day many people (including women, oddly enough) forget to whom they are owed. Gabriela Fiter has decided to remind us, creating an educational board game for two. She has decided to bypass the contemporary streams of feminism, focusing on the movement’s pioneering days – the first wave. The player pick which side of the conflict they will represent, the emancipated women or the conservatives. During the game they read the arguments of either side (drawn from history) written on the cards, divided into four fields of life – politics, economics, education, and customs. The “effect cards” provide additional impact, presenting various famous figures who spoke up at the time. The main premise is to strike a balance between fun and entertainment. The two sides of the discussion are also wisely balanced. The fact that the feminists ought to win often comes more from the rather absurd-sounding (to today’s ears) arguments of the 19th-century reactionaries than the structure of the game. As such, the game can go against history.