The 2014 inaugural Summer Institute for Women Surfers took place July 18-20, in Oceanside, California, identifying crucial concepts for political education, and focusing on the question: what do we need to know to understand the varied conditions of women’s surfing today in order to invent relevant activisms? The event brought together an international group of women for political networking, leadership development, innovative learning, and communal surfing.
Joining Cori Schumacher‘s expertise about surf industry and extensive activist history with Krista Comer‘s research insights and commitment to public engagement, the two feminists pooled resources to co-design, co-organize, and co-host the founding 2014 meeting. Institute participants read selected materials, saw films, cheered on music, and conducted discussions around key ideas important to analyses of contemporary political life. Equally important to the curriculum was the knowledge each of our participants brought with her but perhaps had not sufficiently valued as “knowledge” or had had opportunity to communicate with a wider surfing public.
- group water time & surf: 10 or more women heading out at the same moment. Pretty awesome.
- new thinking about: surfeminisms, women’s liberation v. equality, Muslim women and surfing’s emergent economies.
- new social connections and practical skill-shares between participants about: filmmaking, book editing, public speaking, script writing, music making, managing non-profits, writing grants, finer points of surfing
- Sheri Crummer, on the History of Women’s Surfing; Mira Manickam, resident rapper/ninja, doing “This World Is Yours;” Collaborative new relations between the Institute and Project Wahine; major news from filmmakers Dayla Soul and It Ain’t Pretty, and Elizabeth Pepin Silva about La Maestra; recent big wave reports from Bianca Valenti; and the straight-shot thinking and blogging of Mary Mills (aka Surf Sista).
- greater international visibility in surfing, of feminist analysis supports transnational organizing
- personal transformation and empowerment