Juicy Refuge – Fat
Bebe Berat Bebek, Asha Ten Broeke

Fat does not necessarily have to be a refuge or hiding space from a sexist patriarchal society, as is suggested in Fat is a Feminist Issue, but fat phobia does encourage the marginalization of fat joy, fat voices, fat stories and fat knowledge. On this Fat focused Wednesday, we centralize fat as a politic of refusal and celebrate fat as knowledge about the world and oneself. Writer and op-ed columnist Asha ten Broeke gives a talk titled “It hurts to exist like this: looking for safety in a fatphobic society.” Berat Bebek (Bebe) shares a performance.
“What is fat? What am I? Why does everyone look different towards me? What is wrong with me?” It’s hard to navigate through an endless cloud of questions especially if you’re busy growing up at the same time. Bebe will take us through a journey of questioning: asking questions to ourselves, to the system, to the world, so we can reclaim, so we can decolonise and unlearn, so that we can free up space for ourselves, our experience. All while our body is along the way as a part of us instead of being an apart piece as we experience a lot on a daily basis.

Asha ten Broeke (1983) is a writer and op-ed columnist for De Volkskrant. She has authored three books, among which Eet mij (with biologist and science writer Ronald Veldhuizen), which included an extensive chapter on the stigmatization of fat people. Since then, she has written many articles and columns on the subject, combining her personal experience as a fat woman and the science about the harms of fatphobia to call attention to discrimination and advocate for the right to stay fat and be loved, respected and treated well in the body you have, not the body society whishes you had. When Asha finishes her fourth book, she plans to start working on a book for parents of fat children, to give them the resourches they need to help themselves and their children resist fatphobia and stigmatization, and learn about self-compassion and body respect instead.

Bebe Berat Bebek is a trans non-binary actor, artist, creator, performer, organizer, serotonin source, social butterfly and a professional fat. Almost as a bridge between millennials and genZ they were born in the year ‘99 and were almost always out of the norms set by society. They were born and raised in Turkey but life led them to the Netherlands in 2020. While studying chemistry at Bogazici University, along with socio-political experience from their social circles, they started to be more visible as an activist and as a queer person. Within their previous experiences from theater, they started to lean more into performance art and drag and came across with other disciplines such as ceramic, painting, and embroidery. Having a curious mentality, they let themselves fly through any and every aspect of art and learning through different perspectives. Falling down so many times throughout their life, they’re familiar with the feeling of the ground and now refusing to accept the norm of 'being obliged to suffer’ towards queer people and they believe it is time to reflect, retake and recreate.