On 13 September the Centre for Gender in Politics co-hosted an event with HEReNI. The event was virtual and open to the public. We began the event with a screening of the film ‘The Berlin Years’ which, ‘documents Audre Lorde’s influence on the German political and cultural scene during a decade of profound social change, a decade that brought about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the re-unification of East and West Germany. This chronicles an untold chapter of Lorde’s life: her empowerment of Afro-German women, as she challenged white women to acknowledge the significance of their white privilege and to deal with difference in constructive ways.
Following the film Northern Ireland based poet Anesu Khanya Mtowa read her poetry. Anesu Mtowa is a 17 year old poet currently studying A-levels. For 3 years, she has been writing poetry heavily focused on her identity as a second-generation immigrant, with her first piece ‘Where am I from?’ being published in October of 2017 for the Northern Ireland Youth Forum’s Black history month campaign.She has read at and been on a panel for the QUB Student Union Black history month event ‘BlackHerstory’ and for the past two years, she has been one of the poets for the ‘Sky You Are Too Big’ event.” Watch her in The Muff Monologues here.
Following Anesu’s poetry reading, black feminist scholar Naimah Z Petigny shared reflections on the film and Audre Lorde’s legacy.
Naimah Petigny is a Black Feminist scholar, educator, and dancer. As the granddaughter of Haitian and Jamaican immigrants, Naimah grew up in Western Massachusetts as a youth organizer, racial justice facilitator, and student of Afro-Caribbean dance. Naimah received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s Studies and Sociology from Vassar College in 2014. Currently, she lives in Minneapolis and is a Ph.D. candidate in Feminist Studies at the University of Minnesota. Naimah’s work is interdisciplinary and exists at the intersections of Black Feminist Theory, Black Studies, and Performance Studies. She is dedicated to the study of Black life and liberation, and to building spaces of connection within her classrooms. Her dissertation research centers experiments in contemporary dance-theater performance, Blackness, and erotics.
For those who were unable to join us last month, you can enjoy the poetry reading and film reflections here: