Community accountability was the buzzword of this year’s School of Public Interest, titled ‘(En)gendering Resistance: Exploring the possibilities of gender, resistance and militancy.’ The weekend long conference, organized by the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group at the University of Waterloo, was an engaging, though sometimes disjointed, community affair which played host to a diversity of feminists from across southern Ontario and beyond, converging around the question of gender liberation.
Re-blogged from WPIRG
WPIRG’s 2013 School of Public Interest Conference
Examining the social, political and economic realities of gender, as well as the liberatory possibilities of militant resistance to gender based oppression, WPIRG’s 2013 School of Public Interest will focus on the theme of (en)gendering resistance. A purposeful play on words, the conference theme is intended to encompass reflections on the lived experience of gender, the gendering of activism, and strategies for fostering vibrant resistance movements.
Taking place April 19th-21st at the University of Waterloo, the weekend long conference will bring together community organizers, activists and students, to critically discuss issues related to gender and resistance/resisting gender. Shaping, while simultaneously being shaped by the ways in which we live, love, fuck and resist, the intricacies and potentialities of gender will be explored.
Our vision is to provide an inclusive space to engage in dialogue that challenges the narratives of the mainstream feminist movement, expanding its critique and radicalizing its practice. We dream of a feminism that does not seek the inclusion of marginalized identities within the dominant order, but rather, strives to unapologetically challenge the dominant order itself. How can we develop a movement for gender justice that is necessarily anti-capitalist, anti-colonial and critical of state institutions? How can we foster resistance practices that are firmly rooted in anti-racism and an intersectional analysis of gender?
Patriarchy and gendered oppressions are everyday perpetuated within our communities and movements. Sexism, queer and transphobia permeate social justice groups and organizations. Gender violence and sexual assault occur with tragic frequently within our ‘safe’ spaces. How can we challenge the reproduction of gender oppression within broader social and environmental justice movements? How can we develop non-state responses to issues of sexual violence? What potential exists for the construction of holistic and nurturing communities of resistance? How can we strengthen our ongoing work, and build our collective capacity to resist?
In the spirit of engendering resistance, WPIRG invites community-based activists, those struggling everyday against gender oppression, supporters, and anyone who sees value in gathering to resist and share strategies, to participate!