Tiina Sihto | Doctoral candidate of social and public policy
I attended Faber as part of thematic residency on feminisms from mid-October until the end of the month. I arrived in Olot with little expectations regarding the residency or the work I would actually get done during my stay in Faber. I had been intensively working on my PhD for the last months, so in all honesty, I was quite tired and fed up with my work, and felt that I just want to rest for a few weeks, take long walks in the mountains and enjoy the sun (which we see very rarely in late October in Finland!). In the end, I did manage to do a considerable amount of resting, walking and sunbathing, but what surprised my was the energy boost I got into my work whilst being in Faber. For that, I can only thank the extremely friendly and open atmosphere of Faber, and the inspiring people I got to meet during my stay.
When I got into Faber, the complication chapter of my PhD, which focuses on women’s work-care reconciliation from a local perspective, was at its finalizing stages, as well as two article manuscripts. In addition, I had been thinking and writing on the themes that I would like to do research on in my hopefully not-so-distant post-doc future. These topics involve care and caring from a feminist perspective, as well as regretting motherhood. So, a lot of things were on my mind.
In the end, I was amazed by how much work I got done during my two-week stay. During my stay, I also realised how much I needed new surroundings and new people, as well as just time and space to think and write. Being in Faber gave me all that, and it felt like a breath of fresh air. Even now, when I’m writing this at the end of a very grey November, I still feel the energising effect Faber had on me. Even getting my PhD done does not feel like such a distant goal as what it was one and half months ago.
Last, but not least, the most important thing during the residency was getting to meet a group of wonderful feminist researchers, activists and writers. Sharing ideas and experiences with them and discussing the events taking place around the world was eye-opening and a lot of fun, even though the topics (often were related to the anti-feminist developments taking place around the world) were often quite gloomy. In the end, thanks Angela Fitzgerald, the residency resulted in a book proposal. Now we’re hoping for good news from the publisher. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!