Making a feminist internet: Movement building in a digital age in Africa

After the convening "Making a Feminist Internet in Africa and the Diaspora (MFIAfrica)", held in Johannesburg from 28 to 31 October 2019, a lot of debates, dreams and conversations kept going around among the women who were there. Feminists from eighteen African countries came together to discuss what the internet means for their lives, what a feminist internet looks like, and most importantly what does feminist movement building in a digital age look like for African feminists? We knew that this conversation is just beginning and many topics remain open, perhaps until the next meeting.

Several months later, in these uncertain times with the current global crisis brought about by the spread of Covid-19 virus, it seems difficult to meet physically in such a powerful way, at least at this moment. The conversation must go on by other means. That's why this GenderIT special edition gathers together a series of articles inspired from and continuing the conversations started in South Africa, and even before, since the first Imagine a Feminist Internet convening in 2014.

To enrich this conversations, we also included reflections from Imagining a Feminist Internet South East Asia, content created by students in Europe writing about the relevance of the Feminist Principles of the Internet to them, and the experience of an Afro-feminist Cuban activist challenging the Wikipedia content gap on Africa and Diaspora topics.

The All Women Count-take Back The Tech! (AWC-TBTT!) project at the Association for Progressive Communications Women’s Rights Programme (APC WRP) present this edition, in the spirit of sharing and connect feminist experiences of the internet, and centering the voices of African women.

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Black woman wolking with digital elements around.

Editorial

Making a Feminist Internet in Africa: Why the internet needs African Feminists and Feminisms

In this editorial article, Sheena Magenya challenges the dominante narrative on Africa and technology, claiming for more African feminists and feminisms on, in, around the internet, to counter the idea that technology somehow levels the playing field for all, and is an infallible solution to all our problems.

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Dealing with ruptures: How we can build stronger feminist movements in Africa

In order for our movements to be successful, not only do we have to find each other, but these connections have to be sustained with intention. Within our movements, we are faced with internal challenges because every movement is founded on relationships, and relationships are vulnerable to all kinds of challenges. From our reflections in this regard, we delved into discussions about the factors that cause ruptures within our movements, and brainstormed how we could work to ensure that a rupture does not become the destruction of the entire movement.

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Stella Nyanzi rising her hand, with roses at her back.

Review: No Roses From My Mouth

No Roses From My Mouth is a collection of poems written in jail by Dr. Stella Nyanzi, the feminist poet and academic who is currently imprisoned in Luzira Women’s Prison in Uganda. In this article, Wairimũ Mũrĩithi not only review the book, but also talks about the feminist solidarity movement that is organising offline and online actions for Nyanzi freedom. At the same time, this is a reflection on the interconnected struggles that Nyanzi represent, from freedom of expresion online for marginalised people, to the critique of prison conditions.

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Dos mujeres negras trabajando juntas con una computadora

Ennegreciendo Wikipedia

Ennegreciendo Wikipedia es un proyecto fundado por Ivonne González, quien en este artículo nos introduce a esta iniciativa para crear más contenido en la enciclopedia libre acerca de grupos oprimidos y marginalizados, especialmente mujeres africanas o afrodescendientes.

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Making a Feminist Internet: Access and inclusion in feminist movements

It is fundamental to ensure that when organising, we do not overlook women who do not have “feminist” on their bios but are resisting and defying in their homes, schools and workplaces. When we represent, we need to make sure that we do not get carried away by the power and fame of being at the forefront of movements and organisations; that we do not forget the women that don’t have access to the same spaces because they are illiterate, disabled, poor or otherwise discriminated against or marginalised.

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How one can imagine embodiment in our “disembodied” online lives?

In this article, Shivani Lal shares her experience attending the Imagine a Feminist Internet workshop in Malaysia, on November 2019. Shivani inquieres how one can imagine embodiment in our “disembodied” online lives as a part of our very networked lives today.

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Image description: Women and girls sitting on floor

Dare to Imagine

When is the last time that you daydreamed, spending hours in imagining some unrealistic ideas? Have you found yourself continuously get overwhelmed by different issues happening in this world as a feminist? Is it difficult for you to take a break, a break for fantasizing, and enjoying your daydreams?

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Finding the feminist internet: students respond to the feminist principles of the internet

Students of journalism and online communication came together to respond to the feminist principles of the internet, and how it relates to their lives and realities. Here's a selection of their pieces.