Seminar explores women’s resistance to violence in Brazil

The Centre for Feminist Research (CFR) and the Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean (CERLAC) will present a special seminar titled “Women’s Resistance to Violence in Brazil” by CFR visiting graduate students Vinícius Santiago and Laura Martello. The seminar, which will be chaired by York University Professor Anna Agathengelou, will take place on Monday, Jan. 28 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 519 Kaneff Tower.

The first part of the seminar, presented by Martello, is titled “Young feminist protests resisting the conservative reaction and the neoliberal offensive.” A PhD candidate in political science at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Martello will talk about the massive street protests against sexual abuse and femicide, and in defence of sexual and reproductive rights, which have taken place in the past few years in Brazil. The protests resisted the conservative reaction and neoliberal offensive that resulted in a misogynist coup and the recent election of an ultra-right-wing president. Combining elements of festivity and disruption in protests deeply rooted in local popular culture, Martello will talk about how young feminists are developing self-defence strategies to deal with patriarchal, capitalist and racist violence.

The second part of the seminar, presented by Santiago, is titled “Mothers resisting state violence in favelas of Rio de Janeiro.” Santiago will talk about Black Brazilians who live in the favelas of Rio and are the primary targets of military violence in Brazil. The actions of military police invading Rio’s favelas have resulted in the murder of Black people, especially Black youths, revealing the deadly racism of a country that leads the murder rate of young Black men in the world. In response, mothers are protesting on the streets and are publicly mourning their lost children. Public mourning is a sign of resistance to state violence and a political tool to claim justice in the face of the arbitrariness of the state. Santiago is a PhD candidate in international relations at the Institute of International Relations of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.

This free event is in a wheelchair-accessible space. Gender-neutral and gender-segregated washrooms are available. Light refreshments will be provided. Please advise of allergies or dietary needs with your RSVP to