Past Conferences

2nd Black Feminism, Womanism and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe

This highly successful follow-up event took place at Binnenpret in Amsterdam on 7th October 2017. Check out the conference programme.

In September 2016 in Edinburgh, we welcomed over 100 activists, practitioners, artists and scholars to critically debate contemporary Black feminist and womanist theories and practices in Europe. Our first event demonstrated the possibilities of building solidarity across race, class, gender, sexuality and legal status. However, the symposium also highlighted the inter-generational tensions between veteran and newer activists and scholars about how to build and sustain inclusive and democratic Black feminist spaces for education and action.

For our second symposium, we seek to expand and deepen our debates about the theory and practice of Black feminism and womanism in Europe but also spotlight the very real conflicts between different types of women who identify as Black feminists and womanists. Our aim is to examine how we might build community, collective strategies for survival and a politics for social justice in an unstable European context wracked by a variety of crises linked to austerity measures, racist and xenophobic public discourses about migration and the rise of far right political parties and groups.

We seek activist narratives, academic papers, practice-based reflections and art/music/film contributions related, but not limited, to:

  • Theorising European Black feminism and womanism
  • Gendering racial capitalism
  • Building Black feminist and womanist activist spaces
  • Black feminism and sex work
  • Women of colour and the European racial contract
  • Developing transnational, intersectional and intergenerational coalitions
  • Queering European Black feminism and womanism
  • Race, gender and affective relations
  • Gendering migration experiences
  • Women of colour and digital diasporas
  • Black feminism and Black Lives Matter in Europe
  • Black feminism and trans* women’s rights
  • Women of colour and anti-fascist resistance

2017 Organising committee

Akwugo Emejulu | Marly Pierre-Louis | Tracian Miekle | Lene Hypolite

2017 Keynote: Karin Amatmoekrim

Karin Amatmoekrim is a writer based in Amsterdam. She has written five novels and won the 2009 Black Magic Woman Literature Prize for her novel, Titus.



2017 Sponsors

Department of Sociology, University of Warwick |Binnenpret| Political Studies Association, Women and Politics Group |Reggae Rita’s



1st Black Feminism, Womanism, and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe

This landmark conference took place at the University of Edinburgh on Saturday 3rd September 2016. 

How might we theorise and practice Black feminism and womanism in Europe today? This is a provocative question as women of colour and their politics are too often erased from or misrecognised in the European imagination. Constructed as alien Others, women of colour exist in a contradictory state of invisibility—they are assumed to be absent from and irrelevant to European societies—or hypervisibility—they are presumed to be oppressed and passive and/or highly sexualised, angry and irrational. Across the political spectrum among ostensible allies, women of colour must struggle against their erasure and the debilitating constructions of themselves that disappear or delegimitise their politics, interests and activisms. Furthermore, women of colour in Europe must negotiate the dominant discourses of racial, gender and intersectional politics of North American Black feminists and womanists that make it difficult to name and take action on their particular racialised, gendered and classed experiences in a European context.

Women of colour in Europe have always maintained critical spaces of analysis and activism based on their race, class, gender, sexuality and other categories of difference. Whether under the mantle of Black feminism or, increasingly in a European context, womanism, women of colour undertake creative resistances to their institutionalised inequalities and imagine radical new futures outside and against the neo-colonial frames and practices of contemporary Europe. This one-day symposium seeks to bring together activists, practitioners and scholars from across Europe to build community, exchange experiences and ideas and collectively imagine a Black feminist and womanist Europe.

Papers, activist narratives, practice reflections and art/music/film contributions included ,but were not limited, to:

  • Building Black feminist and womanist activist spaces
  • Theorising European Black feminism and womanism
  • Including European Black feminism and womanism in academic curricula
  • Challenging and subverting imperial socialist, populist, feminist and anarchist politics
  • Developing transnational alliances and coalitions
  • Queering European Black feminism and womanism
  • Resisting counter-terrorism strategies
  • Gendering migration experiences
  • Imagining European Black feminism and womanism futures

2016 Keynote – Cecile Emeke

Cecile Emeke is a director, writer and artist from London. Cecile is most widely known for the global online documentary series ‘Strolling’ and the short film turned series ‘Ackee & Saltfish’.

cecile emike

Dazed Digital, Photography Sarah Piantadosi

Cecile has had much critical success having her work featured by press worldwide from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, BBC, i-D, Dazed, Ebony, Essence, Fader and Shadow & Act to name but a few. Cecile has spoken and showcased her work at various cultural and academic institutions including Cambridge University, LSE, Kings College, SOAS, Southbank Centre and The Brooklyn Museum. Her work has been featured in numerous festivals worldwide from The BFI London Film Festival, The Tribeca Film Festival, The American Black Film Festival, Urban World Film Festival and The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. She was also selected as one of Broadcast Magazine’s 2015 Hot Shots.

2016 Organisers

Akwugo Emejulu | Geetha Marcus | Kate Sang |Francesca Sobande| Orlanda Ward

2016 Sponsors

BSA | ECPR | PSA | FWSA |University of Edinburgh, Global Justice Academy |Heriot Watt University