Silent University Hamburg Public Seminar (6)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 7 pm
Colours of Feminism. The Politics of Gender Differences
Lecture and discussion by Natasha A. Kelly (PhD Communication scientist and Sociologist) and Abimbola Odugbesan (Lecturer, Silent University Hamburg)

In English language with German consecutive interpretation.

W3 – Werkstatt für internationale Kultur und Politik e.V., Nernstweg 32-34, 22765 Hamburg

Which “colour” are feminists? Or are feminists “colourless“? Who is considered “coloured“? Or are feminists “colour-blind“? In German women’s academic and activist circles these and similar questions are asked time and time again, as the concept of white feminism remains invisible, primarily negotiated as a universal generic term which holds authority over other theoretical approaches, such as Black Feminism, Womanism, Africana Feminism or Third World Feminism. Still ignoring their built-in privilege of whiteness and defining feminism in terms of their own experiences alone, white women take the lead in various fields of German feminist discourse by claiming and negotiating the category gender for themselves and for the benefit of themselves solely. Consequently, Black Feminist concepts, e.g. intersectionality are ignored and/or misappropriated, leaving questions of race and class out of the gender debate. Hitherto, Women of Colour become “othered” as the “outsider-without”, whose experiences and traditions get lost in translation.
In this panel discussion Natasha A. Kelly and Abimbola Odugbesan reflect on the historical and political transformation of the concept “colour” and what feminism means in the age of political and social resistance.

Natasha A. Kelly has a PhD in Communication Studies and Sociology with her research focus on race and gender. Born and bred in the United Kingdom and raised in Germany, Kelly is presently the elected representative of the European Union in the Council for Integration and Migration of the Berlin Senate (2012 – 2017). She considers herself to be an “academic activist” (two important features that can be seen individually, but never separately from each other) who is rooted in the Pan-African culture of her Jamaican heritage. As an editor, author and lecturer at diverse private and state universities in Germany and Austria she uses art and performance to materialize “untouchable” phenomena like racism and sexism. This enables her to connect theory and practice and highlight the importance and necessity of the transfer-lines between politics, academia and society. Currently, she is touring with two books: Firstly, the publication of her doctoral thesis Afrokultur. Der Raum zwischen gestern und morgen, Unrast Verlag, Münster 2016, and secondly, she is the editor of the anthology Sisters and Souls, Orlanda Verlag Berlin, 2015.

Abimbola Odugbesan, born in Ibadan, holds a in Political Science and taught Social Studies and English in Nigeria. Odugbesan is a spokesman of Lampedusa in Hamburg, a member of GEW-Gewerkschaft, Erziehung und Wissenschaft, Hamburg, and one of the initiators and participants of Here to participate a program for Refugee teachers. He’s a lecture at Silent University Hamburg and was invited with his lecture Nigeria During Slavery in West Africa to schools and institutions such as Abendschule vor dem Holstentor, Hamburg; Gymnasium Hamm, Hamburg; Gruner + Jahr, Hamburg; Amadeu Antonio Stiftung, Berlin; Refugees Welcome, Schwerin. He was one of the organizers of the International Conference of Refugees and Migrants (2016) at Kampnagel Hamburg and part of the panel Wie gestalten wir das Einwanderungsland Europa at Leuphana University, Lüneburg, and participated in Integration ermöglichen – Zusammenhalt stärken, a forum organised by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. Odugbesan considers himself as an activist and academic and is still looking for more prospects and perspectives for the future. In his research he focuses on the emancipation of African women from patriarchy.