free entry

Françoise Vergès

Féminisme décolonial - lectio magistralis

7 September | h 6 pm
WeGil – Piscina
1 h

in English with simultaneous translation in Italian
introduced by Ilenia Caleo, Serena Fiorletta and Isabella Pinto

Short Theatre 2019 will see the inauguration of a new hub for the festival – the first two days of the festival will be held in the spaces of WEGIL. The historic building in Trastevere, reopened to the public by the Region of Lazio, with its rationalistic architecture conceived by the famed architect Moretti in 1933, will meet the present-day city and offer the festival a reflection on the hereditary of the architecture of the two decades of Fascism and that – perhaps never fully resolved – of Italian colonialism. A new possibility that has brought about questions – what responsibility does curatorial practice have when occupying a location so rife with significance and how should this be addressed?

The ideas of political analyst and militant feminist Françoise Vergès are born out of a reflection on feminism and de-colonialism, along with Kader Attia in the artistic collective Décoloniser les Arts, and a talk will be held on 7 September in collaboration with the Modulo Arti del Master di Studi e Politiche di Genere di Roma Tre and NERO Edizioni, starting with her last text Féminisme Décolonial.

The themes of Françoise Vergès’ work have been shaped by her childhood and adolescence in the French postcolony of Reunion Island where she grew up in an anti colonialist and communist family and her experiences of living in different countries. After spending two years in independent Algeria, she arrived in France in the early 1970s and workedg as a journalist for a monthly then weekly feminist magazine and as an editor in des femmes, and being active in antiracist and anti-imperialist struggles, she became interested in psychoanalysis. Her experiences in Mexico and the United States enlarged her understanding of racial capitalism, sexism and imperialism. Her work inside and outside institutions and her activism have built an approach that always seeks to look at a multiplicity of elements.

Her work focuses around the processes of decolonisation, of the self and of the collective, from multiple oppressions and forms of exploitation. In Reunion, she observed the interconnections of racism, sexism and coloniality, the tools of State repression, the traumatic integration of racist tropes, and State violence and censorship; in France, the denial of colonial history; in the USA, the deep racism at the foundation of this country…

In Rome, she will discuss how she sees decolonial feminism, its method and its practices. She will also talks about her work of decolonizing the museum and the arts.

Francoise Verges, originally from Reunion Island, is an independent scholar, feminist antiracist activist and educator, and the author of twelve books, including Monsters and Revolutionaries (Duke UP 1999), Le ventre des femmes. Capitalisme, racialisation et féminisme (2017, forthcoming in English at Duke University Press) and Nègre je suis, Nègre je resterai. Entretiens avec Aimé Césaire (2005, forthcoming in English at Polity). 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.