‘Through Mama Cash I became a world citizen’.
Carla Brünott already was a seasoned Amsterdam feminist when Mama Cash asked her in 1993 to sell lottery tickets as a volunteer for Mama Cash’s big lottery on the occasion of her tenth anniversary. She was originally trained as a singer and was immersed in the Amsterdam women’s movement in the seventies. She was one of the initiators of the lesbian cultural magazine Lust en Gratie (Lust and Grace) and the women’s printer Virginia; the Lesbian magazine DIVA published an interview with her in 1983 under the title: ‘The Callas of printing’.
‘At Mama Cash they had a keen eye, I was perfect for the job; eventually, I was the one who had sold the most lottery tickets’, according to Carla Brünott, who is still proud of this achievement. Next she was asked – because of her language proficiency – to assist Will Jansen, manager of the Mama Cash Zuidenfonds, as a volunteer in the selection of applications for grants of groups from Francophone countries. ‘I had always been extremely impressed with the fact that Mama Cash did not just focus on the dire position of women in The Netherlands, but on women around the globe. I never was a keen traveler, but I did become a world citizen following my work at the office of Mama Cash. I felt part of the international women’s movement. We were one big family.’
In the new millennium she was asked to sort out the records of Mama Cash. Carla: ‘It was a huge mess. I discovered boxes filled with minutes, videos and DVDs all over the attic, in between paint pots, brushes and discarded office furniture. First of all, I cleaned up the mess and then it took me years to arrange the minutes of meetings, applications of groups and correspondence of the first twenty years in chronological order.’ Finally, the records were filed at the International Archives for the Women’s Movement (currently Atria). The files are still anxiously waiting for someone to make them accessible to researchers.
Before she finished her 14-year career as a volunteer at Mama Cash, Carla compiled two beautiful series of postcards under the motto ‘she changed the world.’ The postcards combine a photo and a description of women in The Netherlands who have dedicated themselves over the past centuries to achieving equal rights and opportunities for women in many different fields, but who are hardly mentioned in history books.
Carla Brünott volunteered at Mama Cash from 1993 tot 2006. Mama Cash thanks Carla Brünott for contributing her energy and a wide range of talents to advancing women’s rights all over the world!