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Motherhood and Migration Webinar

Friday, May 15, 2020


Webinar “Motherhood and Migration” aims to bring together academic, scholars, social critiques and activists working in the areas of motherhood, migration, and citizenship. The organizing committee of Motherhood and Migration Webinar invites you to join us on May 15 for this webinar’s two keynote speeches and three discussion sessions. The webinar is free of charge and no registration is required beforehand. The program will start at 10am CEST (Central European Summer Time).


10:00-11:00  Keynote speech “Matricentric Feminism: A Feminism For and About Mothers” by Prof Andrea O’Reilly (York University).

This keynote will introduce a mother-centered mode of feminism – what I have called “matricentric feminism” – and consider the context and challenges of a mother-centered feminist theory and politic. Motherhood, it could be said, is the unfinished business of feminism. Matricentric feminism seeks to make motherhood the business of feminism by positioning mothers’ needs and concerns as the starting point for a theory and politic on and for women’s empowerment. Indeed, a mother-centred feminism is needed and long overdue because mothers – arguably more so than women in general – remain disempowered despite forty years of feminism.

11:00-12:00  Keynote speech « Migrant Mothers as Citizens » by Prof Umut Erel (The Open University).

Migrant mothers are often portrayed as outsiders to citizenship. They are seen as standing in the way of their children’s integration or as burdens to the state when they receive social, health and educational services. What happens, however, if we turn this logic on it’s head and value what migrant mothers are already doing: raising future citizens for a multi-ethnic society, crossing ethnic boundaries to forge networks and friendships to care for children, and creating new understandings of identity. How do we need to change our understanding of citizenship to take account of these interventions? In this talk I draw on work with the PASAR project which used participatory theatre and walking methods to explore the experiences and strategies of belonging and participation of migrant families in London to better understand how migrant mothers creatively intervene in and create new practices of citizenship.

13:00 Discussion on “Narratives of Mothering and Migration

  • 13:00 session with Asma El-Fassi (producer of “Toen Ma naar Mars Vertrok”)
  • 13:30 session with Sarah Avci (founder of “Palhik Mana vzw”)
  • 14:00 session with Birsen Taspinar (author of “Moeders van de Stilte”)

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