Fighting political backlash: creative ways to resist, survive and thrive

Library of Birmingham - Centenary Square - B1 2ND
Wednesday 6th November 2019 (17:00-19:30)
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The phenomenon of political backlash is not new. Across social media, toxic voices are blaming feminists, immigrants, people of colour and other marginalised groups for today’s problems in society. It is important to understand how we can resist, survive and thrive in hostile environments both online and offline.

Hosted by Dr Raquel da Silva and Dr Megan Daigle

This event will provide a platform for an informed and respectful dialogue through a roundtable discussion and the opportunity to explore supportive and productive responses on this topic. Following the discussion, there will be a reception and exhibition of Dr Saara Särmä’s installation, Underbelly, which explores the nature and volume of online hate mail and abuse experienced by feminist activists. 

The roundtable is composed of:

  • Dr Saara Särmä is a feminist, activist, artist and researcher. She’s interested in the politics of visuality and image circulation, feminist academic activism, and laughter in world politics.
  • Dr Charlotte Galpin is a Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. Charlotte has been the object of sexist/misogynistic, anti-elitist, and xenophobic/anti-German comments related to her research on Brexit.
  • Seyi Akiwowo is the founder and executive director of Glitch, an organisation that aims to end online abuse. She designed the ‘Fix the Glitch’ toolkit, which supports individuals and organisations to host sessions on how to end online gender-based violence.
  • Azmina Dhrodia is the Head of Operations at Block Party, a technology start-up working to address online harassment on social media and empowers users with greater controls. She was previously a Researcher on Technology and Human Rights at Amnesty International and has authored several reports including #ToxicTwitter: Violence against Women Online 
  • Leah Cowan is Policy and Communications Co-ordinator at Imkaan, which is the only UK-based, second-tier women's organisation dedicated to addressing violence against Black and ethnic minority women and girls. This organisation holds nearly two decades of experience of working around issues such as domestic violence, forced marriage and ‘honour-based’ violence.