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New Projects Seminar Series: Social reproduction, practical feminism for 99%, and processes of (re)democratization in Poland

Dr. hab. Magdalena Grabowska, Professor of Sociology, IFiS PAN
15/12/2022, 2:00 pm
Room 232

This seminar focuses on the status of social reproduction and reproductive justice in the face of the consecutive social and political crises in Poland and globally (Bhattacharya 2019), and examines how social movements that center on reproductive justice and social reproduction can change the debate on de-democratization in Poland, but also beyond. Almost half a million people went out on the streets of Warsaw on October 28, 2020, during the COVID pandemic, to protest against the further restrictions of the abortion law in Poland. Most protesters were women, young people, and LGBT+ activists – groups often deemed inactive and/or unimportant in traditional political debates.

In this seminar we point to the genealogies and legacies of 2020. Using the theoretical lenses of social reproduction theory, and reproductive justice approach, we first look into how the 2020 wave of feminism came to being, by examining various processes that contributed to it, including: the rejection of the project of abortion referendum (1992),  first feminist and LGBTQ marches (2000 and 2001), conservative campaigns against so called “gender and LGBT ideology” (from 2012 on), #metoo campaign and black protests and women strikes  (2016). Second, we look into legacies of the protest, assessing how practical, everyday feminist and queer activism constitutes a major social force that, instead of the state, manages the recent major social crises (public health crisis during the Covid pandemic since 2019, reproductive health crisis since 2016, refugee crises at Polish Belarusian and Polish Ukrainian border 2021 and 2022).  We pay special attention to the “gendered” aspects of activism – almost 90% of those assisting Ukrainian refugees are women between 30-44 years old, and among persons who assist refugees at Polish-Belarusian border, 80% are women.

Dr hab. Magdalena Grabowska

Dr hab. Magdalena Grabowska is a sociologist and a professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. She is the author of the book Broken genealogy: Social and political women’s activism after 1945 and contemporary women’s movement in Poland (2018), and a co-author of a Feminist Fund report Where there is an oppression, there is a resistance (2022). Her academic interests span the history of emancipation movements, postcoloniality and post-socialism, and transnational feminisms. She also conducts activist research on violence and sexual violence against women, reproductive rights, women’s equality, and feminist and queer social mobilizations.

Event supported by NAWA Welcome to Poland and NCBiR.

Listen to dr. hab. Magdalena Grabowska’s talk on “Social reproduction, practical feminism for 99%, and processes of (re)democratization in Poland” on our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MOOMDcirNg