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Institute for Minority Rights - News & Events - Slut Walks: How Transfeminist Groups Engage with Public Space in Bologna

22.02.2024

Slut Walks: How Transfeminist Groups Engage with Public Space in Bologna

A seminar by Olivia Burchetti.

  • English
  • Date: 22.02.2024, 11.30
  • Place: Eurac Research
  • Typology: Hybrid event
  • Info:

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The sexual harassment episodes that happened in Milan on New Year’s Eve 2022 show that much is at stake in Italian public space, in terms of gender. This work addresses the gap in the literature regarding the actions of Italian transfeminist groups in urban spaces, taking the city of Bologna as a case study. While being a fertile ground for grassroots feminist groups, Bologna is also a city where several security measures were implemented, thus representing a fascinating environment to look at the struggles occurring in public space. In particular, I explore the way public space is politicized by transfeminist groups through performativity. The Slut Walks – marches held in 2021 in Bologna – are analyzed as a case where this dimension emerges. Investigating how transfeminist groups address the securitarian narrative, how they create safety during the Slut Walks, and how they understand the role of performativity during these actions sheds light on how Italian public space is gendered and on the politics of reclaiming it. With regard to methodology, this research is based on traditional, semistructured interviews – using maps on which to draw - and walking interviews with transfeminist activists. By analyzing empirical data, I argue that the distinction between private and public space is challenged through performativity during the Slut Walks. Indeed, the presence of nonconforming bodies wearing “slutty” outfits in public space represents a threat to the heteronormative order, rooted in a strict separation between private and public. Hence, participants conceive performativity as a fundamental tool for the "formation of a collective self," which allows them to collectively challenge the heteronormativity shaping the public dimension, as well as to temporarily reclaim space.

Project

EMiC

ABI - Empirical Intersectionality in Minority Contexts

Duration: - Funding: Internal funding EURAC (Project)

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