Feminist Exchange Network and The People’s Bank of Govanhill
Initiated by artist Ailie Rutherford during a residency with Govanhill Baths Community Trust in 2015, The People’s Bank of Govanhill has grown from series of currency experiments, ad-hoc exchanges, on-the-street discussions and workshops mapping intersecting local economies into a long term collaborative project. We are now a women*-led collective Feminist Exchange Network. FEN continues to explore ways of putting feminist economics into practice at a local level, pushing for a radically different economic model and alternatives to capitalism.
The Economy As An Iceberg in Tina’s Chippy photographed by Bob Moyler
Mapping the Iceberg workshop series with Ailie Rutherford photographed by Bob Moyler
In relating feminist economics to peoples lived experiences, feminist economists JK Gibson-Graham’s “Economy as an Iceberg” diagram (from their book Take Back the Economy) has provided us a useful metaphor in discussing the diverse economic practices that often go unacknowledged, but are vital in mainitaining our communities and our lives.
Our Swap Market exchange space opened in September 2018 transforming a former pawn shop into a space for swapping and sharing resources without the need for money. Swap Market ran until October 2020 as a skills and knowledge exchange, facilitating the exchange of goods, traditions and cultures. With over 2,000 members the project combined art and activism to instigate collective thinking on what a better economic model would look like, grown from the ground up. We held events, film screenings, talks, art installations and workshops on community commoning, action on climate change, degrowth and intersectional feminism in practice alongside games afternoons and mending sessions.
Since losing our physical space on Victoria Road Glasgow we have been delivering online events and interventions in public spaces. For more information on Swap Market visit swapmarket.info
Feminist Economies window drawing at Swap Market by Rae-Yen Song photographed by Najma Abukar
Feminist Exchange Network is now looking at how we might incorporate digital technologies into this project. If we are inevitably moving towards a cashless society where machines and technology have an increased impact on our lives, we want to know how can we do this in a way that empowers people, enables us to share resources across networks, and meet our needs rather than allowing technology to further disempower people and exasperates inequality.
We also run trans-local and international projects using social and activist arts practices to explore ideas of feminist economics in practice.
Visit our blog pages for more info
Artists and activists who have collaborated with The People’s Bank of Govanhill, Feminist Exchange Network and Swap Market include: Ailie Rutherford, Inga Zaiceva, Calina Toqir, Monster Chetwynd, Rabiya Choudhry, Ellie Harrison, Zara Kitson, Rae-Yen Song, Sibell Barrowclough, Usma Ashraf, Rahela Cirpaci, Altron Hamilton, Alaya Ang, Najma Abukar, Carmen Sawers, Brian Morgan, Nadine Gorency, Katherine MacKinnon, Caroline Darke, Shreya Agarwal, Bettina Nissen, Libby Odai, Chrissie Ardill, Vishwanath Pasumarthi, Foxy, Dania Thomas, Raman Mundair, Elaine Gallagher, Layla-Roxanne Hill, AB Silvera, Sapna Agarwal, Deniz Uster, Magpie, Rumpus Room, Nat Walpole, Bob Moyler, Jean Cameron, Re-Peat, UNA festival, Saoirse Amira Anis, Mandy Roberts, Zineerah Ali, Maria Tolia, Thelma Okey-Adibe, Teresa Feldmann, COCO Collective, Más Arte Más Acción, Colectiva Curuba, Elsa Caucus, Padmini Ray-Marray, Arts Initiative Tokyo, Miki Watanuki and Meray Diner
Feminist Exchange Network is a women* led collective. Our current board members are:
Ailie Rutherford (Artistic Director) Caroline Darke (Co-Director) Carmen Sawers (Treasurer) Eliska Bujokova (Secretary)
*inclusive of transgender and intersex women as well as non-binary and gender fluid people who are comfortable in a space that centres the experience of women
For for more information, to join our board of directors or become an associate member email us at
Our Articles of Association and Objectives can be read here Feminist Exchange Network – CIC – Articles of Association – March 2020