Family Fictions II: Family, Property and the State

The second meeting of Family Fictions takes a closer look at the historical work 'The origin of the family, private property and the state' by Friedrich Engels.

Published in 1884, the work claims an utterly progressive thesis on the history of women’s oppression by proving that family originated from matriarchal clans in primitive communities. And, as Engels concludes “a world-historic defeat of the female sex” occured when men considered herds and tools for food production as their property. Despite the denial of matriarchal origins in family studies, scientist from the 21st century demonstrate renewed interest in this theory. However this work was already highly reclaimed by first wave feminist during the second part of the 20st century.

Based on the second chapter we would like to initiate a discussion about various forms of kinship and related codes about family law and property.

Text: English F., The origin of the family, private property and the state, Progres, Hottingen-Zurich, 1884

'Family Fictions' is a reading group led by Laura Herman and Charlotte Van Buylaere. It is a discussion platform and an introduction to the exhibition 'The Family Trap', which will take place at Kunsthal Extra City in the autumn of 2019.

The discussion is accessible for Dutch and English speakers.
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