Lecture and discussion: Margo Okazawa-Rey: Feminist Transnational Non-Aligned Movement: Politics of Possibility and Hope, 20.10.2022, Vienna


Time: 20.10.2022, 19.00 Uhr
Venue: Elise-Richter-Saal, Vienna University, 1010 Vienna

In the current historic moment, people and the natural world are suffering from the scourges that have brought massive destruction and created chaos worldwide. The culture of killing rooted in neoliberal capitalism, militarism and armed conflict, religious fundamentalisms, patriarchy, and racism, ethnocentrism, and caste oppression, dictates the decisions made in social, economic, and political institutions and shapes life as we know it including the mishandling of the global COVID-19 syndemic. With a few exceptions, such as in parts of Latin America, Right-Wing elites, and their cronies, irrespective of categories such as nation, gender, and race, are leading the charge toward potential destruction of the planet not to mention human life. And the public is being compelled by political and religious leaders and others to take sides. For example, in the current Russia-Ukraine war, the abortion debates, rights of trans and gender non-conforming people, and many more. Are you on the side of Russia or Ukraine? Abortion – yes or no? Trans rights – yes or no?
In a similar political moment after the formation of the Soviet Union and the start of the so-called Cold War, newly independent countries and others in de-colonization processes (Third World) were politically pressured to choose either the “West” (First World) or the Soviet Union (Second World). At a historic gathering in 1955 in Bandung Indonesia, the Third World countries agreed to a set of unifying principles (political self-determination, mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, and equality) and chose to move in their own direction. This formation came to be known as the non-aligned movement.
Given the political and moral bankruptcy of existing states, political parties, ideological perspectives, and the limitations of our own thinking and understanding as progressives, how could a feminist transnational non-aligned movement help us think about this moment, agree to a set of guiding principles, and create possibilities for generating the kinds of changes needed to save the planet and ourselves?


  • Margo Okazawa-Rey’s conversation with Faris Cuchi Gezahegn will focus on the conceptualization and creation of a feminist transnational non-aligned movement
  • Chair: Sushila Mesquita

Margo Okazawa-Rey, Professor Emerita at San Francisco State University, is a social justice activist and educator working on issues of militarism, armed conflict, and violence against women examined intersectionally. She was a founding member of the historic Black feminist Combahee River Collective as well as the International Women’s Network against Militarism and Women for Genuine Security. Margo Okazawa-Rey serves on the International Board of PeaceWomen Across the Globe and is President of the Board of Directors of Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). She has a longstanding relationship to social justice work in South Korea and with the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling in Palestine. Margo is the (co-)author and (co-) editor of numerous publications including “Nation-izing” Coalition and Solidarity Politics for US Anti-militarist Feminists, Social Justice (2020); Gendered Lives: Intersectional Perspectives (2020); “No Freedom without Connections: Envisioning Sustainable Feminist Solidarities” (2018) in Feminist Freedom Warriors: Genealogies, Justice, Politics, and Hope, Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Linda Carty (eds.), and Activist Scholarship: Antiracism, Feminism and Social Change (2009).

Faris Cuchi Gezahegn is a performance artist, PCCC stand-up comedian and an intersectional LGBTIQA* advocate who uses different media such as style activism, video and audio to bring about social change and to start a conversation on the issues they face while navigating day-to-day life as a non-binary Ethiopian/African LGBTIQA* advocate/refugee in central Europe and back in their homeland Ethiopia. They have lived in Austria since 2017, having been granted asylum after their security in Ethiopia got compromised. They are one of the co-founders of House of Guramayle, a collaborative intersectional organization created by group of activists & advocates based in different parts of the world joined by common regional & cultural identities that advocates for sanctity for LGBTQIA Horn Africans both in Horn of Africa and in the diaspora. Faris Cuchi Gezahegn is also engaged with Afro Rainbow Austria, an organization to create visibility and safe space for African Queer bodies in Austria.

Organisiert und finanziert durch das Referat Genderforschung der Universität Wien, Sushila Mesquita, und den Arbeitskreis für Gleichbehandlungsfragen, das Institut für Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften und das Institut für bildende Kunst der Akademie der bildeten Künste Wien, Petja Dimitrova, Moira Hille, Ruth Sonderegger und Simone Bader.