Due to the coronavirus pandemic, and mindful of the risks and exclusions involved in an in-person international meeting of its kind–even one held after the official end of quarantine in Greece and the reopening of borders just in time for the tourism season–we took the decision to postpone the Feminist No Borders Summer School (scheduled for 15-21 June 2020) until next year, 2021. In its stead, we proposed a virtual process to the 35 participants and 5 invited keynote speakers, which consisted in weekly or biweekly meetings of four working groups from April to June, and–over the week for which the FNBSS was planned–video keynote lectures/discussions on the 16th, 17th, and 18th of June and a virtual assembly on the 20th of June, kindly hosted on the platform of Off University.
Tuesday 16 June:
Keynote lecture by Sophie Richter-Devroe (Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha), “Everyday Crossings: Palestinian women resisting the settler colonial border”
Keynote lecture by Sreejata Roy (Revue, an artist ensemble, New Delhi), “Social Space – Everyday – Creativity”
Thursday 18 June:
Keynote lecture by Deanna Dadusc (Alarm Phone Brighton) and Hela K. (Alarm Phone Tunis), “Women’s Struggles in the Mediterranean Sea”
For further info see the collective report by Alarm Phone activists on “Struggles of Women* on the Move”
call for participants
Suryia Nayak (University of Salford, Manchester)
Sreejata Roy (Revue, New Delhi)
Sophie Richter-Devroe (Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Doha)
Deanna Dadusc (Alarm Phone, Brighton)
Latife Akyüz (Humboldt University, Berlin)
Co-organised with Feminist Researchers Against Borders, a network of academics and activists
The Feminist No Borders Summer School is three years in the making. The brainchild of Feminist Researchers Against Borders (FRAB) has survived a packed classroom in the Polytechnic University of Athens in the July 2018 heatwave, and was nourished in its life course as the first gathering we had in the Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research in June 2019. We are grateful to the 100+ past participants, invited speakers, and community experts of the 2-day and 3-day workshops who gave this summer school its existence.
The context of the two previous events was shaped by the “refugee crisis” that was declared to have broken out in Greece in the summer of 2015, and the “economic crisis” that was dramatised in July 2015: first, by the referendum through which the electorate rejected a new memorandum of understanding between the government of Greece and the Troika of its creditors; and then by the deal reached between the Greek government and the leaders of the Eurozone in defiance of the popular vote. The liminal position of Greece within Europe (and within the institutions comprising ‘EUrope’) has been intensified by these intertwined developments. Moreover, the multiple forms of precarity and the various velocities at which some human (and nonhuman) beings are consigned to death through the necropolitics of the “crisis regimes” have intensified divisions amongst us, along lines of racialised citizenship, class power, and heteropatriarchal normativities. Thus, we asked: What becomes possible when we inhabit the borderlands with the conscious intention of breaking down the multiple borders that have been erected to keep us apart?
While we are writing this call, right in front of us and around us we witness whole islands having been turned into spaces of administrative torture, and the sea turned into an aqueous cemetery; we hear plans for the construction of new closed detention centres on ‘hotspot’ islands; we see the imposition of a new asylum law that violates one’s very right to apply for asylum in Greece; we resist violent evictions of squats in Athens and other urban centres; we experience the privatisation and militarisation of public spaces, including incessant stop and search procedures through racial and gender profiling; we protest sexual assaults and feminicides, at the borders, on the streets, in prisons, and in homes turned into prisons.
What have we learnt from (our) being together in Athens during the previous two summers? That incisive analyses about the phenomena comprising our bordered reality, and hard-wrought experiences of struggle and resistance, can be shared and synthesised with care, passion, and joy, when feminists who oppose the international nation-state system of borders meet in a room. While we meet in Athens, we seek and offer connection, collaboration, mutual support, friendship, and love to all those who struggle for survival and for possible better worlds across the continents.
Next year (2021), with FRAB, we launch the full 7-day summer school at FAC Research in Athens. Over these intensive and reflective seven days, a combination of participants’ presentations, discussions, workshops, visits to community organisations, and keynote addresses will culminate in a collective intervention. Coinciding with the Summer School, the BRIDGES project will present its toolkit for antiracist education from an intersectional and decolonial perspective, aimed at university and community educators working toward dismantling structures of exclusion, particularly those erected by borders.
Applications: We invite applications from researchers (including those working outside academic institutions), activists, and artists. Participants are asked to propose an individual research project that will be presented during the summer school and developed in Athens.
Participants should send a long abstract (max 500 words) of their project to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, please provide a brief biographical statement (max 100 words) highlighting relevant research and experience; affiliation; and full contact details (including e-mail and telephone number).
If you wish to be considered for a tuition fee waiver and small scholarship, please indicate this in your application. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch prior to the application deadline.
Tuition fees: €250 (for members of FAC Research); €300 (for non-members).
Please note that accommodation and travel expenses are not included in the tuition fees. We kindly ask participants to respect the boycott of the AirBnB platform when booking accommodation in Athens. We will make suggestions to participants for low-cost accommodation in the vicinity of the Centre.
A certificate of attendance will be awarded to all participants who complete the summer school.
Important dates (these will be announced in early 2021)
- Application deadline: TBA
- Notification of acceptance: TBA
- Tuition fee payment due: TBA
- Submission of draft papers: TBA
- Final program and information: TBA
The summer school is an LGBTQI+ affirmative space and the participation of trans, intersex, non-binary, queer, lesbian, bisexual, and gay people is encouraged.
We hope to meet in Athens this June!
Aila Spathopoulou, Anna Carastathis, Carmen Zografou, Myrto Tsilimpounidi, Penny Travlou
Faculty Organisers, Feminist No Borders Summer School
Co-directors, Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research