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Palestine Inter-University Lecture Caravan - A Global Minds initiative

'Decolonizing Palestine: Conversations after the Unity Intifada'

We are happy to announce the start of an Interuniversity Lecture Caravan, realised with the support of VLIR-UOS within the Global Minds programme:

Five sessions, five subjects & one shared theme

'Decolonizing Palestine: Conversations after the Unity Intifada'. 

This lecture caravan will highlight connections, power structures and agency between Belgium and Palestine to better understand the place of contemporary situations of occupation, social injustice and its resistance within larger worldmaking projects and the contemporary power dynamics of globalisation. 


Click the link to register for each lecture session: https://linktr.ee/vliruos 

Session 1 (09/03/2022) - ‘Feminist and Queer Solidarities’

VUB, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels

In light of International Women's Day, this lecture addressed how the Israeli state mobilises gender and sexuality within the context of occupation. What can a queer and feminist perspective bring to our understanding of settler-colonialism, not just in the context of Palestine, but also in light of Belgium’s own colonial past? And, what are the implications for transnational and internationalist feminist and queer solidarities with Palestine?

The lecture was part of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel’s Genderweek and organised by RHEA, the university’s research centre on gender, diversity and intersectionality. 

Speakers:

  • Haneen Maikey: Palestinian activist working against Israeli apartheid by engaging queer and feminist politics. Co-founder and previous executive director of the organisation 'alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society'. Co-founder of activist group 'Palestinian Queers for BDS'. Author of 'The History and Contemporary State of Palestinian Sexual Liberation Struggle'.
  • Mikki Stelder - Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam/University of British Columbia. Stelder's dissertation, 'Queering Occupation: From Zionist Sexual Politics to Palestian Decolonial-Queer Imaginaries' (2018), discussed the uses of Zionist sexual politics for Israel's settler colonial project; Palestinian anticolonial-queer politics; and the limits and challenges of transnational solidarity.

Session 2 (22/04/2022) - 'Against the Infrastructure of Colonial Capitalism'

ULB, Franklin Rooseveltlaan 50, 1050 Brussel


Colonial occupation has been the driving engine behind a prolific and highly profitable defence industry for Israel and Israeli companies. For Israeli companies, the symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship between private capital on the one hand, and the Israeli military apparatus on the other, serves as a lucrative opportunity to test their technologies and market them to customers worldwide. This partnership provides the basis for Israel’s infrastructure of occupation. 

This lecture is organised by Jihane Sliti (RHEA - VUB) and Omar Jabary Salamanca (ULB), a VUB and ULB collaboration.

Speakers:

  • Riya Al'Sanah: Activist, member of the Palestinian feminist movement Tala'at, and research coordinator at Who Profits, a research center investigating private sector complicity in the Israeli occupation economy. 

Session 3 (03/05/2022) - 'Entangled Histories of Solidarity: a cross-generational Examination of Palestinian Youth Organizing'

KU Leuven, Faculty of Social Sciences, Parkstraat 45, 3000 Leuven

This lecture examines entangled histories of solidarity between Palestinian youth organisers and Third World, indigenous, anti-colonial and anti-ractist movements worldwide. It offers a cross-generational, comparative, and transnational analysis of Palestinian student and youth organizing, starting in the 1930's until the present day, to illustrate how youth movements have both informed and been effected by the broader trajectory of the Palestinian liberation movement.

This lecture is organised by prof. Karel Arnaut, KUL, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology (KUL).

Speakers:

  • Loubna Qutami - Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Former President’s Postdoctoral Fellow from the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (2018-2020) and received a PhD from the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside (2018). Qutami’s research examines transnational Palestinian youth movements after the 1993 Oslo Accords through the 2011 Arab Uprisings.
     

Session 4 (11/05/2022) - 'Labour Solidarities and the Question of anti-colonial Struggle'

UGent


On May 18 2021, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian citizens in Israel stopped work for the day, as did other Palestinians across the Occupied West Bank and in Gaza, in a general strike and a remarkable show of unity against Israel’s unfolding military campaign. Moreover, the international call for solidarity and to organise actions in support of the Palestinian general strike issued by Palestinian trade unions was answered massively by trade unions across the world. During this lecture, with important voices from the Palestinian and Belgian trade union movement, we discuss the role of labour and trade union organising in a settler colonial context.

This lecture is organised by Fayrouz Yousfi, Sigrid Vertommen and Koenraad Bogaert, UGENT, the department of Conflict and Development Studies in collaboration with ACOD UGENT. 

Speakers:

  • Jamal Juma: Executive Committee Member of the Palestine New Federation of Trade Unions and Secretariat Member of the Boycott National Committee (BNC)
  • Rafeef Ziadah: Palestinian human rights activist, lecturer in Middle Eastern Politics at SOAS, University of London, and member of the University and College Union (UCU).

Adress: Campus UFO - Technicum - Auditorium D (St.-Pietersnieuwstraat 41 - Gent)

Date: 11/05/2022

Time: 17:30 - 20:00

Session 5 (17/05/2022) - 'Creating Spaces for anti-colonial Solidarity'

UAntwerpen


In this closing event of the Palestine Lecture Caravan, the ongoing colonisation of Palestine is linked with past and present European colonisation. This event suggests that to decolonise our minds, bodies and institutions in Belgium, we need to examine how European colonialism continues to impact our everyday lives: from Congo to South Africa, from Belgium to occupied Palestine, the wealth and wellbeing which we lay upon are in direct relation to a violent past and present of (neo)colonial logics and practices.

This lecture is organised by the UAntwerp Palestine Solidarity Collective.

Date: 17 May 2022

Address: Institute of Development Policy – Chapel and surrounding spaces: Lange Sint-Annastraat 7, 2000 Antwerpen

Timetable:

5.15pm: Doors open

6pm - 6.30pm: Opening Speeches - all speakers and audience members present

  • Welcome speech: Prof Herman Van Goethem, rector of the University of Antwerp
  • Opening speech: Minister Meryame Kitir, Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities Policy

6.40pm -7.20pm: Structural racism, colonialism and cultural/knowledge institutions

Moderator

  • Mahar Musleh: education researcher

Speakers  

  • Philsan Osman: writer, activist and community builder, student at UGent
  • Max De Ploeg, grassroot organizer and teacher, Aralez (Amsterdam)

7.30pm - 8pm: Colonized Bodies

  • “Beyond 19 Hours” simulation by Raneem Ayyad, Palestinian architect and researcher; Anas Alkhatib, Community based architect and researcher
  • About non-Ukrainian students in Belgium: Stéphanie Ngalula and Moïse Essoh, from the «Collectif Mémoire Coloniale et Lutte contre les Discriminations »

8.10pm - 9.30pm: International solidarities across South Africa, Palestine and Belgium & open conversation about the evening/event

  • Maath Musleh: Researcher & PhD candidate at Vienna University of Technology;
  • Stephanie Collingwoode Williams: anthropologist, ex-social worker, trainer and diversity consultant.
  • Jan Vanheukelom: former South Africa anti-apartheid activist

9.30pm-11pm: Reception

Exhibitors: 

  • David Katshiunga, painter and creator of KKK, ‘Koning, Kerk, Kapitaal’
  • Matthias De Groof (guest-professor at the UA and VUB, postdoctoral researcher at Waseda (Tokyo), and filmmaker, "Under the White Masks" - film screening)

The closing event of the Palestine Lecture Caravan will be an in-person interactive event. Corona measures will be respected, including limiting the number of attendees

Click the link to register for each lecture session

www.linktr.ee/vliruos