Photo Steve Ladner
On Saturday, August 10th, Ann Snitow, our friend, associate, activist and intellectual, who fought for the emancipation of the human race from the injustice and oppression from the traditionalist patriarchal system, left us. Ann believed in feminism of liberation, and after more than twenty years of enormous commitment to liberate women from American patriarchy, she did the everything humanly possible to support the women of Eastern and Southeastern Europe in their conquest for freedom throughout the last thirty years. Already ill, she traveled to Poland last September to attend the launch of the translation of, arguably, her most significant book, “Feminism of Uncertainty,” and to support her comrades in fighting this new wave of right-wing populism and misogyny. She founded the Network of East and West Women in 1991, now based in Poland. From Kyrgyzstan to Bulgaria, through Georgia and Serbia, to Romania and Albania, she helped create libraries of newly created gender studies centers, tirelessly traveled and taught, gained new knowledge and supported women’s efforts to build more humane, equitable, critical societies. She built bridges and encouraged her interlocutors to set new paths and together seek better answers.
She loved Belgrade – and returned often. For the last time in 2013, just a few months after her first chemotherapy, to hold a two-day seminar for the newly created Women’s Parliamentary Network on the strength and challenges of feminist theory and practice. Of course, she also took the opportunity to meet with students from the Faculty of Political Science, where she gave one of her inspiring lectures that could not leave anyone indifferent. And then we allowed ourselves a little break. My husband Milan and I took her and Daniel through Serbia: from Viminacium and Lepenski Vir, through Gamzigrad and Niš’s Mediana, to the Žiča monastery and even stopping by Visegrad to walk across the Drina Bridge. She was about to finish reading Andric’s “The Bridge on the Drina”. Just days before Ann died, she told me she was looking at pictures from “our magical journey around Serbia” again.
We are sharing New York Times’ obituary, remembering words of Njegoš, “Blessed is one who lives forever, he was born for a reason” (“Blago onom ko dovijeka živi, imao se rašta i roditi”).
Thank you Ann for everything!
Sonja Licht and current and former associates of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence