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Black Feminism and the Polycrisis: Configuring a Novel Solution Space Through Intersectional Methodology

How can we use the unique insights and intersectional methods of Black feminism to respond to the complexities of the contemporary polycrisis?

Black Feminism and the Polycrisis: Configuring a Novel Solution Space Through Intersectional Methodology

How can we use the unique insights and intersectional methods of Black feminism to respond to the complexities of the contemporary polycrisis?

About

Polycrisis is the word being used to diagnose some of the most important global concerns of our times. The Financial Times designated 2022 “the year of the polycrisis,” and defined polycrisis as the “collective term for interlocking and simultaneous crises of an environmental, geopolitical and economic nature.” While the diagnosis is certainly apt, much of the current analysis of the solution space focuses too narrowly on the consequences of the polycrisis while overlooking the systemic reasons that fuel it in the first place. There is a need for critical interventions and expanded views.

Black feminism has developed tools such as intersectionality which illuminate our world and offer new ways of co-existence. Intersectionality involves thinking about interlocking domains of power - and the way out of polycrisis requires such a multi-perspectival tool that travels in the complexity of relational patterns and systems. In this project, we aim to extend the kaleidoscopic toolbox of Black feminism by spelling out a heuristics for a novel solution space to the polycrisis.

By drawing on intersectional models, we bring a novel “polycritical” and “epistemically polyamorous” approach to the polycrisis. We will work along three dimensions: (1) develop intersectional theory and praxis including Global South perspectives, (2) formulate critical arguments about the polycrisis and its relationship to Europatriarchal systems of domination, and (3) offer concrete, imaginative visions for a better future based on applications of intersectional methodology to the polycrisis.

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PROGRAM CHAIR
PROGRAM CHAIR

Minna Salami
Feminist Author and Social Critic


Minna is a Nigerian-Finnish and Swedish feminist author and social critic. Her research interests include the politics of knowledge production, the progression of feminist theory, and contemporary African thought. Her debut book Sensuous Knowledge has been translated into multiple languages. Minna’s academic background is in Political Science and Gender Studies with a specialization in feminist theory from SOAS, University of London. She sits on the council of The Royal Institute of Philosophy and the boards of The African Feminist Initiative at Pennsylvania State University, The Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of the Sahel, the Emerge network, and is an associate with Perspectiva.

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Art
Art

Marcia Kure, "Shifters and Monarchs. The Series X" (2018). Collage and 23 Karat Gold on Arches Hot Press Watercolor paper. © The Artist. Courtesy of Susan Inglett Gallery, NYC.

Marcia Kure's artworks explore identity, memory, and cultural heritage. Her multidisciplinary practice includes drawing, painting, collage, and installation, reflecting the complexity of her transnational identity. Kure's works interrogate the legacies of colonialism and globalization, as well as the fluidity of cultural boundaries. Through the use of layered imagery and intricate compositions, the artist explores themes of displacement, hybridity, and the politics of representation. Kure incorporates diverse materials, such as found objects and traditional African textiles, to add depth to her work and imbue it with layers of meaning and texture. The juxtaposition of disparate elements invites viewers to engage with the complexities of identity formation in an increasingly interconnected world. Kure's art is distinguished by its sense of urgency and activism, as she addresses issues of social justice and human rights. Her works frequently serve as poignant reflections on the ongoing struggles for liberation and equality, both in Africa and beyond.

Art

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    The program "Governing the Planetary Commons: a Focus on the Amazon" examines how to responsibly and sustainably govern crucial Earth systems, using the Amazon Rainforest as an example, and explores different governance models that could work in an ecologically sound, democratic, and resilient way.

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    The aim of the program „Depolarizing Public Debates“ is to develop tools for reducing polarization in public discussions about socio-ecological issues, engaging with practitioners from journalism, digital platforms, and civil society.

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  • Conceptions of Human Flourishing

    How does a non-materialist conception of human flourishing inform the reformulation of the SDGs in 2030?
    The program „Conceptions of Human Flourishing” explores how different cultures conceive of human flourishing, how the current materialist approach may limit it, and how to redesign the SDGs with a broader, more inclusive view of what human flourishing means.

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  • Reclaiming Common Wealth

    What are pathways, processes and institutional designs for the generation and governance of land commons?
    The program "Reclaiming Common Wealth" explores pathways, processes, and institutional designs for the generation and governance of land commons, aiming to address discontents arising from institutional investments in land, assess theories and concepts of property and value, and establish a repository of the law and institutional design of land commons, with a focus on Commons Public Partnerships.

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