8 – 9 – 10 September | 10:30 am – 1:00 pm + 4:30 – 6:30 pm
Teatro Argentina

Françoise Vergès

Nous tissons le linceul du vieux monde

Words and practices for Anti-racism, Anti-capitalism, Anti-imperialism and Anti-patriarchy


After illuminating the WeGil staircase last year with her words centred around ‘Un Féminisme Décolonial’, 2020 sees the return of Françoise Vergès at Short Theatre to rally and revive the community that gathered around her speech in the last edition. Nous tissons le linceul du vieux monde: We weave together a shroud for the old world. An intensive workshop aimed at getting artists, activists, researchers, curators and representatives of cultural institutions to know and recognize one other, to share the questions, needs, and (im)possibilities linked to the undetected racial and patriarchal system that capitalism has erected. A system that we live in and contribute to strengthen on a daily basis. The 8th to the 10th of September will be three days of communal reflection, a time to come together, learn new words, imagine practices and strategies to apply them.

The systemic and structural violence of racist capitalism and patriarchy has, once again, been revised by the containment policies that governments have implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. There has been no decrease in femicide, the murder of militants and natives, violence against the elderly and children, assaults by the police and racist violence. Inequality as well as social and racial injustice have become even more serious, contributing to a resurgence of the immense unstableness created by globalised capitalism and its racial structure. These politics shed a vivid light on the differentiation perpetrated by governments between people who have historically benefited – and still do – from being protected over to those who have throughout history been classified as disposable or as surplus and who are viewed as naturally reluctant and resistant to what those powers have conceived of as “normal life”. Therefore not only are exposed to the virus and death, but their behaviour is criminalised.

Sometimes words fail to fully explain the explosions of violence that can occur, which in turn create a climate of helplessness, anger, anguish and despair. Yet every day, somewhere, women and men resist, tearing apart the veil that normalises crime. One of our tasks will be to bring people up to date on the intertwining of temporality and spatiality that creates vulnerability, and leads to the premature deaths of the racially oppressed, of trans, queers, sex workers, migrants, refugees and the defenceless. In this three-day workshop, which will bring together activists, artists and researchers, we will try to trace these strands starting from the issues that galvanise Italy at this moment. Afterwards we will strive to put into words our aspirations and desires for emancipation and liberation.

For info see Tempo Libero

Francoise Verges, of Reunion Island, is a long time activist, independent scholar, antiracist and decolonial feminist and public educator, and the author of twelve books, including Un féminisme decolonial (2019, translated into Brazilian and forthcoming in English), Monsters and Revolutionaries (Duke UP 1999), Le ventre des femmes. Capitalisme, racialisation et féminisme (2017, in English at Duke University Press, 2020) and Nègre je suis, Nègre je resterai. Entretiens avec Aimé Césaire (2005, in English at Polity, 2019, and Spanish, 2020). She has served as Chairperson of the National Committee for the Memory and History of Slavery, is an independent curator and the president of the association Décoloniser les arts which has opened a free monthly seminar in Paris since 2016. Her forthcoming book (La Fabrique, 2020) is entitled Une théorie féministe de la violence. Pour une politique antiraciste de la protection.

© Claudia Pajewski