Reflections on Double Dabble

Last weekend Double Dabble: A Feminist Day of Making finally came around. Janis and I had been planning, organising, sending e-mails, and attempting to figure out what was going to happen for the last few months, and on Saturday the day finally came.

members of fempower.tech that were at Double Dabble
[me, Helen, Ko-Le, Janis, Rosie, Vidya and her little one] Thanks for the photo, Vidya!
As fempower.tech, we won the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association‘s small grant scheme this year, and were able to obtain match-funding from the Digital Economy Network to make Double Dabble happen!

The idea was simple: create a space where feminists can come together to discuss theory and making; to delve into a world of support, comfortable discussion, and creativity. Our way of doing this was to essentially create what we are starting to call an anti-hackathon.

Astrid crafting a muscle activity sensor

We took the things we liked about hackathons (making, creating, exchange of ideas) and got rid of all the things we don’t like about them (competition, judges, stress, teams, segregating of ‘techies’ and ‘non-techies’). Taking these things into consideration, we hosted 5 stalls and a ‘zine machine’ to reflect on the day as the day was happening. The stalls were designed by groups of two (except for one stall that was run by one person only) – what was particularly beautiful about these teams was that they always came from different academic disciplines (or one was non-academic) and had very different backgrounds, approaches, and research topics. I don’t think any of them had known each other before they were put in contact with each other by Janis and me, and I’m pretty sure most hadn’t seen each other before Saturday.

Let’s just say, it was an experiment.
And I was nervous about how it would turn out.

To my surprise it all went alright in the end though! Running up to the event, I was worried about not being worried enough – it’s a weird thing I do when I know I should be stressed, but for some reason am not. I fully understand the ridiculousness of this, but I can’t help it. Whenever I organise an event there is usually a moment of panic; a point (usually one or two weeks before the event is to take place) where it feels like it is all going to fall apart, where something goes horribly wrong, or where we receive some horrible news about a major participant in the event. Not at Double Dabble! Until the morning of the day, we had been working for a few minutes or hours each day for a few months to make the day happen. Janis and I had (many) informal exchanges about an e-mail we had just received or about something we had to figure out, and as such never had the pressure to deal with something on our own, but rather knew that we always had back-up. Thank you so much, Janis for all the support you gave me in organising this event. It truly was a team effort, and I really appreciate all the hard work you put in!

The day was relaxed, informative, and delicious. We had some fantastic feedback from participants and stall holders. We made cool things, we made new friends, and we made a great day!

Learning more about pre-technological Fanfiction written by Emily Brontë: Gondal stories and poetry

We’ll be sharing more reflections and information on how we organised Double Dabble over on the fempower.tech website soon (hopefully, we’re all a bunch of PhD students though, so this might take a while! haha), so if you want to keep in touch or learn more about Double Dabble and other events we’re organising subscribe to our blog, or follow us on twitter!

Happy Crafting!

Women’s Work stall where we learnt how to knit, crochet, and quilt while discussing hte invisibility of women’s work

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