During the summer of 2020 Black activists mobilized throughout the Nordics to organize Black Lives Matter demonstrations to not only show solidarity with Black Americans, but also to call attention to the state-sanctioned violence and structural racism that Black/Afro-diasporic communities face here in the Nordics. Since then, anti-Black racism has once again become a topic for both cultural and political debates, raising questions about who gets to be seen and heard, and on whose terms.
Much of this work has been taken up by Black women who have long organized against racism, sexism, and other intersecting forms of oppression in the Nordics. Yet at the same time, Black women’s histories, experiences, and perspectives are often overlooked and marginalized – including within anti-racist, non-white, and feminist spaces.
This panel discussion centers four Black women from different Nordic countries who through their cultural, intellectual, and political engagement have contributed to the highlighting of representations, experiences, and perspectives of Black women. The discussion will be moderated by Jasmine Kelekay.
The event is organized in collaboration with the journal Astra.
Jasmine Kelekay is an Afro-Finland-Swedish researcher and activist focusing on anti-Black racism and Black activism in the Nordics. She is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism (CEMFOR) at Uppsala University. Kelekay is guest editor for Astra’s recently published special issue on Black feminism in the Nordics.
The panel features:
Judith Kiros is a Swedish poet, literary scholar, critic, and journalist. Kiros is one of the founders of the anti-racist and feminist platform Rummet, which was founded in 2013. In 2019, she was part of establishing Kontext Press, a multimedia platform for considerate journalism and critical entertainment. In 2019 Kiros debuted with the critically acclaimed book of poetry, O, based on Shakespeares Othello, dealing with Blackness and gender.
Phyllis Akinyi is a Danish-Kenyan dancer, choreographer, performance artist, and dance researcher. Akinyi works with contemporary folklore, the ‘Betwixt and Between’, and spiritual rituals in the Diaspora. She is currently in NYC developing her latest performance piece about grief, expected to premiere in May 2021. She is chair of Independent Choreographers Denmark (De Frie Koreografer) and is passionate about pushing the Danish art scene to evolve, expand, and be more including of BIPOC artists and non-Western traditions.
Monica Gathuo is a community organiser and media producer located in Helsinki, Finland. Gathuo works as a co-coordinator for ARMA Alliance (Anti-Racism Media Activist Alliance) and researches the digital media usage of women of colour in Finland. She collaborates with POC led grassroots organisations and supports initiatives led by the youth of color.
Deise Faria Nunes is a Norwegian-based Brazilian performance practitioner and art researcher. Nunes is currently a PhD fellow in the program Theatre in Context at the University of Agder. She is the founder of the company Golden Mirrors Arts Norway, focusing on production and diffusion of works and thoughts by Black women. Nunes is also a freelance writer.