COWAP Newsletter January 2016


COWAP Committee

Overall Chair: Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp
Co-Chair for Europe: Ingrid Moeslein-Teising
Co-Chair for Latin America: Cândida Sé Holovko
Co-Chair for North American: Cecile Bassen
European members: Laura Tognoli Pasquali and Ester Palerm Mari
Latin America members: Ruth Axelrod Praes and Almira Correia de Caldas Rodrigues
North America members: Paula Ellman and Britt-Marie Schiller
IPSO representative: Monica Fraenkel d’Alançon
COWAP Newsletter editor: Ester Palerm Mari


   By Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp 

A New Year starts and I wish our readers all the best for 2016.
The COWAP Newsletter would like to reflect the psychoanalytic activities of this committee and give our recognition to those female psychoanalysts who have been pioneers in psychoanalytic societies and contributed in the development of psychoanalysis.
Moreover, the COWAP Newsletter would like to show works which stimulate for a fairer society, from others points of view, as for example the recent work of the Korean artist IM Heung-soon. His latest works “Factory Complex” (2014-15) and “Reincarnation” (2015) explore the impact of Korea’s modernization on social fabric as well as the burden of grief left on women who have survived the trauma of war in recent history.
As the Overall COWAP Chair I would like to thank Ester Palerm, who is the editor of the COWAP Newsletter which is published in a new format for the third year. She is a MD and clinical psychologist, member of theSpanish Psychoanalytical Society (SEP) as well as a board member of the SEP (2008-2012) and currently the coordinator of the SEP Communication and Press Committee.

Ester Palerm

She has participated as a COWAP member in several European conferences and she was the chair of the COWAP meeting which was held in Barcelona in 2011, “Feminine and Masculine Today”. She is also the co-editor of the book “Masculinity and Femininity Today”, published by Karnac in 2013. Without her creative ideas and her technical skills this newsletter could not exist.
At the same time we would like to encourage the readers to send us their contributions and comments to make this newsletter a tool for communication for all who are interested in COWAP.

By Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp and Ingrid Moeslein-Teising

In our free and democratic republic of Germany women and men have equal rights and equal obligation to stand for the perseveration of the basic democratic law. It is the duty of civil societies to guarantee that women and girls can feel secure of violence wherever they are.
We don’t know much about the events in New Year’s Eve, but what witnesses state and the media say about the origin of the
perpetrators, many of these criminals seem to be from Arabian origin. Nevertheless, we warn to bring under suspicion all people who are living nowadays as migrants among us and who seek for shelter at the moment in great numbers. Many of them are fleeing exactly this violence in their home countries.
At the same time it is clear that everyone -which origin ever- has to adhere to the existing law in Germany. Whoever acts violently against women and girls or transgresses their dignity has to be brought to justice (see also statement of Terre des Femmes, Berlin, 7.1.2016).
We want to express our deep concern and our compassion with every woman and girl who had to suffer under these sexual and violent attacks.


March 4-5, Weekend Conference: “The Courage to Fight Violence Against Women”, Washington D. C. (USA)
Presented by The International Psychoanalytical Association – Committee on Women and Psychoanalysis, the Contemporary Freudian Society, the American University Katzen Arts Center, the Baltimore Washington Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis.
An international and interdisciplinary Conference on the Courage to See and Fight Violence against Women. In recent years there has been a surge in awareness of the many arenas in which violence against women occurs.
Psychoanalysts and scholars from Argentina, Mexico, Peru, the UK and US address how violence can be seen, known and represented on the world stage and in psychoanalytic treatment, along with the consideration of depictions of violence against women in film, art, drama and poetry.
Location: The Katzen Arts Center at American University

Full brochure and print registration
Or register on line: session 1 & 2

There will be also a COWAP Business meeting during the Conference (time and place to be announced).

March 17-20, COWAP Panel at the EPF Conference: “Women and Power-Men and Power”, Berlin (Germany)
Friday 11.30-12.00
Speakers: Susanne Walz-Pawlita and Hans-Jürgen Wirth
Chair: Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp
In Western democracies, despite legal equality of men and women and various anti-discrimination efforts, executive and managerial positions in business, politics, society and science are still mainly filled by men. Likewise, there are still systematic differences in the remuneration of men and women. The exercising of power is generally looked upon unfavourably, but at the same time, it is ubiquitous in managerial positions to pursue advancement and an occupational career. The price that particularly younger and well-educated women often pay for occupational advancement is childlessness or very late parenthood. Women are still predominantly given responsibility for childcare, and the integration of occupational and private developmental potentialities is rarely seamless. This frequently causes women to withdraw from their occupational advancement in favour of the safeguarding of the family and to seek jobs that facilitate better integration. Thus, there are predominantly women in the health care professions in general, particularly also in psychotherapy/psychoanalysis.
As regards the personal prerequisites for holding a managerial position, in addition to the relevant requirements of the respective institution/organisation, it needs to be distinguished between a rational, task-oriented exercising of power, which cannot be avoided, and the misuse of power.
We will deal with the following questions from a socio-psychological and psychoanalytic perspective: Why do people strive for power? What does power cause in those who wield it? Is there a correlation between the misuse of power and narcissistic personality disorders? What experiences do women have when they get into a position of power? In what way do they themselves change in the process, and how do men react to it, how do women react? Do women exercise power differently than men, are they better (HR) bosses, for example? What role does the issue of power play in partnership conflicts today? Might there be greater caution towards women in positions of power as a result of earlier fears of the superior mother who can only be kept in check by means of patriarchal structures?
We will present our thoughts on this in two introductory presentations, subsequently opening up a broad discussion of these questions with the auditorium.

There will be also a COWAP Business meeting during the Conference (time and place to be announced).

April 1-2, First Journey about Sexual Abuse: “Consequences to subjectivity and prevention”, São Paulo (Brazil)
The issue of sexual violence is of importance not only to Psychoanalysis but also to the whole society, involving professionals of physical and mental health, judges, lawyers, teachers and parents in the search for understanding early intervention and prevention.

Participants: Joshua Durban, Juan Eduardo Tesone, Nilde Parada Franch, Plinio Montagna and David Levisky.
Coordinators: Cândida Sé Holovko, Cristina Cortezzi Reis, Cristina Maria Kurkdjian and Regina Elizabeth Lordello Coimbra.
Location: Brazilian Psychoanalytical Society of São Paulo (SBPSP)

June 3-4, XII COWAP Latin American Intergenerational Dialogue between men and women: “Challenges of Psychoanalysis facing the new sexual and family configurations”, São Paulo (Brazil)
Although the main concepts in psychoanalysis remain fundamental in our job we nowadays have to deal with new challenges coming to us in our clinical work that make us wish for a greater exchange of ideas with colleagues and professionals of related interdisciplinary areas. Themes to be discussed in the XII Dialogue: sexual diversity, homoerotic couples, assisted reproduction, transsexuality, sexuality and gender.

We have already confirmed the presence of Frances Thompson Salo (Australia), Leticia Glocer Fiorini (Argentina), Fernando Orduz (Colombia), Rui Aragão (Portugal) and other renowned professionals from Latin America.
We are receiving papers to be presented in small groups. These should be in Arial 12 font and should not exceed 5 pages, with summary and references. Deadline for acceptance of papers: February 29th.
Coordinators: Cândida Sé Holovko and Cristina Cortezzi Reis

September 2-3, Conference: “The abused child”, Nervi/Genova (Italy)
Co-organisers: Laura Tognoli Pasquali and Frances Thomson-Salo
International line up of speakers and discussants drawn from psychoanalysis and the law to include Irma Brenman Pick (UK), Jordi Sala (Spain), Luis Jorge Martín Cabré (Spain), Marianne Leuzinger-Bohleber (DPV) on “Refugee children who are abused” and John Woods (UK) on “How does an abused child become an abuser?”
Closing conference by Antonino Ferro, President of SPI
Location: Hotel Villa Pagoda

October 29-30, “Female potencies”, Frankfurt (Germany)


Conference: “The upside and downside of violence against women. Being a man today. Veins of masculinity”
November 23, Junín (Argentina)
By Alicia Iacuzzi 

The local Trade Association, the School of Social Leadership jointly with the Northwest Buenos Aires National University (UNNOBA), the College of Psychologists of Buenos Aires province, the Argentinean Psychoanalytic Association, The International Committee of Women and Psychoanalysis (COWAP) and OSDE (Private Health Insurance Provider) show their commitment to the topic by supporting this event.

Alicia Iacuzzi

Alicia Iacuzzi’s contribution was changing and expanding the categories of analysis presenting reflections as a psychoanalyst through her experience of addressing men legally punished for practicing violence against women. She stressed the construction of masculinity and femininity and their entanglements today in all equations of sexual and gender diversity. From femicide violence she opens thematic blocks. She suggests that these kind of acts that violate human rights and produce social pain should be a matter of Community Health.


“La diferencia sexual en debate. Cuerpos, deseos y ficciones” (“Bodies, Desires and Fictions: Sexual Difference in Debate”)
Buenos Aires: Lugar Editorial, 2015


1. What has motivated you to write this book? 
This book continues ideas I developed in a previous one: “Deconstructing the Feminine. Sexuality, Gender and Theories of Complexity” (Karnac Books, 2007). These are related to changes in contemporary societies that we must address: greater visibility of homosexualities and other types of sexual and gender diversities, homoparentality, unconventional families, changes in the feminine position, assisted fertilization, changes concerning the regulation of filiation and parenthood: issues that demand rethinking certain psychoanalytic notions. These points include some major questions that we need to address: are children raised by homosexual couples excluded from symbolic social ties? Can we continue to think about father/mother functions in line with the classic model of nuclear family? Is recognition and assumption of sexual difference the key to reaching symbolic construction of subjectivity? Is phallic primacy an unquestioned axiom of psychoanalytic theory?

2. What theoretical novelties does the book present?
In my opinion, “novelties” concern how we think in psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis was initially subversive with its proposals regarding sexuality and the unconscious. I consider it necessary to sustain this subversive character. In other words, psychoanalysis should not be a norm concerning human relations and the construction of subjectivity. As I emphasize below when we think about nomadic sexualities, gender migrations, and homoparentality, we are obliged to review notions we considered immutable and eternal. These questions led me to think beyond binary thought (phallus-castration, masculine-feminine) and to choose a different epistemological model: the paradigm of complexity. This means that we focus on three or more variables at the same time, possibly mutually heterogeneous (for instance: bodies, identifications, and desires), beyond schematic dichotomies. In this line, our proposal was to analyze their intersections and their impact on the construction of sexed subjectivity.

3. What could you say about the third function part detached from the paternal function?
As I already published, the concept of paternal function must be deconstructed if we are to understand new models of parenthood. Many issues are attached to this concept. Psychoanalysts often think that there is a function that must separate the mother-child dyad, and that it is called “paternal function”. However, if we wish to understand homoparentality or other models of family organization, we should deconstruct the “paternal function” notion and replace it with a symbolic function that does not “belong” to the father. This implies the redefinition of a new construction: the mother, too, may exercise it. I propose that this third party symbolic function could be represented by father, mother or other social or individual figures. This proposal concerns nuclear family, too.

4. Which psychoanalytical concepts do you consider important to be rethought in order to embrace the sexual diversity of the clinic in our contemporary world?
I consider that we must rethink several other psychoanalytical concepts in order to free our understanding of prejudice when addressing changes in contemporary societies. An entire chain of notions must be rethought. This means, aside from the points already mentioned:
a) rethinking the Oedipus complex; b) a different view on sexual and gender differences; c) the inclusion of other models of thinking about family organization. Therefore, sexual difference is at stake. My proposal is to rethink sexual difference in a different way. I propose to consider the category of “difference” in a broader sense (sexual difference, gender difference, linguistic difference; and also to focus on difference as recognition of “the other”, among other meanings). Also, my perspective is to rethink desire for a child in a different way, not only as compensation for a phallic lack, but as “productive” desire, in the words of Deleuze. All these proposals aim to expand our comprehension of new challenges for contemporary cultures and societies.


ARTIST: IM HEUNG-SOON (South Korea, 1969)
By Ester Palerm 

The Korean artist IM Heung-soon obtained the Silver Lion for Promising Young Artist during the 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia with his work “Factory Complex” (2014-15), that it has been exhibited in the Tate, the MoMA PS1 and the Sharjah Biennial.
IM Heung-Soon has often been involved in community-based projects that investigated issues such as industrial immigrant laborers and social minorities. His mother worked as a seamstress in a factory. He is indeed interested in the conditions and the struggles of those workers living in South Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, people who have been sacrificed in the name of economic achievements.
With his latest works “Factory Complex” (2014-15) and “Reincarnation” (2015), he explores the impact of Korea’s modernisation in its social fabric as well as the burden of grief left on women who have survived the trauma of war in recent history.

IM Heung-Soon

-“Factory Complex” takes the form of a documentary that proposes a direct encounter with marginalized female workers and their labour conditions in textile factories in South Korea and Southeast Asia. He showed the South Korea’s rapid industrialization came at the cost of brutal exploitation of female workers, who faced retaliation when they tried to organize.

“Factory Complex”

Amid interviews with union leaders and historical footage of strikes, he interwove more poetic, decontextualized scenes of women gazing at birds overhead, or walking blindfolded through a bamboo forest. At one point, two women embraced with their heads veiled in fabric: a direct quotation of René Magritte’s “The Lovers”.

-“Reincarnation”revisits a neglected memory of society, that of Vietnamese and Iranian women who suffered from different forms of trauma in relation to the Vietnam War or the Iran-Iraq War, respectively. The work serves to rekindle the unacknowledged suffering of older Korean women who were the designated entertainers for soldiers from South Korea during the Vietnam War, and mothers who lost their sons during the Iran-Iraq war.
Initially, IM’s projection of two different videos on opposite walls at the same time comes as a surprise. One has to grapple with the rhythm of turning one’s head frequently from side to side, and adjust to the simultaneous infiltration of images and norms from two very different cultures and people. The effectiveness of IM’s video installation is embedded in his treatment of grief. With minimal re-enactment of the circumstances, the artist juxtaposes two distinctly opposed ways of expressing remorse that reinforces the depth of the women’s experiences. While the Iranian mothers’ seemingly excessive, almost deranged vocalisation of trauma is manifested through the imagined return of their sons that “mediates the gap between life and death,” and the quiet stoicism of the aged Korean women in Vietnam echoes their unfathomable suppression of sorrow. As the sound track from the Iranian women’s shrieking lingers and overlaps with the resignation of the ill-fated Koreans, the audience is drawn into a collective consciousness of empathy for their situation.

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