Goethe-Institut's project “Movements and Moments” sheds light on Indigenous feminist activisms from the Global South in the form of comics.
The narratives of feminism are still written from a predominantly white, western perspective. While feminist claims and positions from the Global North are, up to this day, sidelined in a patriarchal mainstream, the same holds true to a much broader extent for feminist movements from the Global South. Little information about these movements and their activists is accessible in large knowledge databases such as Wikipedia, and even in the respective native regions of these feminist activists their achievements are often not archived because resources are too scarce or their demands are not thematized.
Initiated by Goethe-Institut Jakarta, the project “Movements and Moments – Feminist Generations” aims to make visible these hidden biographies and activisms by relating their stories in the highly accessible format of comics. By emphasizing an indigenous feminist perspective, which is often linked to decolonial struggles and emancipatory approaches to sustainability, we wish to shed light on one of the most marginalized, underexposed aspects of feminist protests. On the other hand, this project wants to inquire how these often overlooked struggles might be role models for feminist movements worldwide. By publishing these stories from different continents and bringing them into dialogue with each other, we hope to spark interest in archiving and mediating non-Western feminist endeavors.
In 2019 we launched an open call and received an overwhelming 218 applications from 352 teams and solo artists originating from 42 countries. The jury members—Aua Mendes (Indigenous trans feminist artist from Brazil), Johann Ulrich (German comic publisher), Maya (Goethe-Institut Indonesien), Sonja Eismann (publisher of German feminist periodical Missy Magazine), and Urvashi Butalia (head of Indian feminist publisher Zubaan Books)—selected 16 stories from 14 countries that conveyed major narratives on ecological activism, the fight for education, and the struggle for the rights of LGBTIQA+ people. Two accomplished comic book artists, Amruta Patil from India and Nacha Vollenweider from Argentina, served as the groups’ mentors and accompanied and guided the authors during the process. Some stories will be published in German and English in 2022 through appointed publishers while other stories will be accessible on this website in English and the authors’ native languages.