Webinar: (De)facing Patriarchies at the Mediterranean Borders: the decolonial at stake for Mizrahi and Basque feminisms

Mural painting on the walls of an old factory in a suburb of San Sebastián by the Dominican graffiti-artist Eme. Source: https://basquemurals.wordpress.com/tag/feminism/

Date: December 13, 2021
Time: 18:30
Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89460449727?pwd=a2lITDBDUGJta2h3N21aY0RKQndrUT09

Organizer/Moderator: Fotini Tsibiridou (University of Macedonia)
·        Maggie Bullen (University of the Basque Country)
·        Smadar Lavie (University of California, Davis)
·        Christina Grammaticopoulou (University of Macedonia)
·        Sissy Theodosiou (University of Ioannina
This webinar would like to open the discussion on minority feminisms at the Mediterranean borders and its surrounding areas (i.e. the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Iberian peninsula, the Anatolia, the North Africa). We would like to engage with a comparative setting upon critical deconstructions of patriarchies, defaced through decolonial feminist struggles and possibilities. By putting the decolonial at stake for Basque, Kurdish, Mizrahi, Black Tunisian and other plural feminisms, we are locating the intersectional social struggles around gender, ethnicity, minority, class and race at the center of the discussion. We also pay attention to those feminisms’ praxis for social equality and emancipation, to their creative returns to the local knowledges and cosmologies, to their embodied habitus as social agents engaging with mainstream and global feminist discourses, to their advocacy of human rights, as well as to their replies on the challenges posed by art and digital technology. The analogies we can draw and the possibilities we can envision in those minority feminisms that are struggling to engage with dominant feminist critique and to find their own path to emancipation are setting an interesting decolonial framework against every dominant feminist attempt. The Greek feminisms, as any other kind of feminism, whether it is characterized as white, hegemonic, radical, liberal, activist or academic, should turn their attention to those minority decolonial feminist agendas and voices, as well as to other counter-publics and creative initiatives facing discrimination, racism, inequality and contempt. A decolonized feminism is not simply an annex of minority voices to an existing project. It is a reconsideration of feminism through these voices, acknowledging the limitations of white feminism in considering their struggles. At the same time, it questions the existing representations of colonized women that have effectively invisibilized them throughout history, while also providing the tools and practices to address inequalities and exceed them in praxis, from a position of agency in the local communities and their social struggles.

The Mizrahi feminism in Israel and the Basque feminism in the Iberian peninsula are setting an interesting comparative context to discuss the minority status and the gender perspective emerging through multiple discriminations and exclusions that shape a palimpsest of patriarchies, based on  social  inequality, race, language, religion, cultural repression, settler colonialism, national borders, state nationalism and bureaucracy, white male supremacy and structural violence, epistimicide etc. Patriarchy, as a matrix of coloniality, inscribes multiple submissions, consent, subversions and revolts, beyond those inscribed to female bodies, as the first colonized bodies. Following the paths of such minority feminist praxis struggling with specific patriarchal complexities, we could multiply our reflexive and decolonial stance on gender and feminist methodologies, and go beyond the advocacy of identity rights and/or performing activism on stage or within digital spaces. 

The webinar is a follow up of the thematic “Decolonizing Gender – Feminist Methodologies,” started in the symposium of our initiative Decolonize Hellas, see here