Feminist and Queer Solidarities Beyond Borders
This project has two interrelated aims: 1) to establish a cross-national and cross-professional network of academics and activists who work on women’s and LGBT-rights in three geographical contexts: the Nordic countries, Russia and Turkey; 2) to develop novel analytic and strategic tools to use in the struggle against gendered, sexualized, ethnicized and racialized inequalities that currently are on the rise in the Nordic region and beyond. The project will deepen and nuance our understandings of the particularities that characterize the struggles for gender equality in various contexts. It will gather crucial insights into how activists and researchers in these variegated locations challenge anti-gender and homophobic policies in times of political backlash against democracy and the rise of the far-right.
Rooted in the insights of gender, queer, antiracist lived experience and scholarship, we are deeply affected by the current, and emerging anti-gender and homophobic campaigns led by religious extremists, far-right nationalists, and populist political leaders, which expresses a serious threat to gender scholars and activists across the globe. In Turkey, women and LGBTI people encounter increased violence in a threatening neoconservative climate. In Russia, LGBT organizations work under the pressure of so-called “antipropaganda” law, according to which dissemination of any information about LGBTI rights among people under 18 is defined as “propaganda of homosexuality” and is considered as a condition for administrative punishment. In Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway, the forces, which discredit gender studies as “ideology”, are also on the rise. This political climate disadvantages conditions and opportunities for women, men, people of color, queer, Muslim, transgender and intersex people. It provokes the rise of hate crimes and violence towards all who belong to these groups and it affects the youth. While dialogues between academia and activists have been of key importance in historical and contemporary feminist and queer movements in the Nordic countries, our project offers an urgently needed transnational dialogue on these matters.
This project brings both activists and scholars together in order to accumulate their theoretical and practical knowledge of gender inequalities to use in struggles for women’s and LGBT-rights. With this exchange and collaborative work, we seek to deepen existing understandings of the particularities of transnational struggles against anti-gender and homophobic practices and legal systems in various contexts and professional spheres and to produce knowledge about how anti-genderism and homophobia can be challenged. Designing and developing analytic and strategic tools for activism and research collaboratively, this project will also counter the imperialist global narrative of women's and LGBT rights as imported Western products.
The project consists of three workshops with researchers and activists which will be organized in Gothenburg, Turku and Oslo in 2020 – 2021.
Mia Liinason, Department of Cultural Sciences
Selin Çağatay, Department of Cultural Sciences
Deniz Akin, Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology
Faith Mkwesha, University of Helsinki and SahWira Africa International NGO
Mina Wikshåland Skouen, Norwegian Helsinki Committee