From Belarus to Black Lives Matter
Rethinking protests in Belarus through a transnational feminist perspective
Keywords:Black Lives Matter, Belarus, transnational feminist solidarity, exile, racial logics
This article examines the lack of solidarity between the Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. and the anti-authoritarian uprising in Belarus in 2020. Specifically, I explore how distant geographies and feminist communities can relate to each other and thus challenge the rise of right-wing conservatism, white supremacy, and neoliberal authoritarianism. This article relies on auto-ethnography and the exploration of public media, political essays, and scholarly contributions discussing the meanings of the BLM and Belarusian protests. Through critical self-reflection and by deploying the concepts of ‘exile’ and ‘transnational feminist solidarity,’ this article suggests a possibility for alternative transnational feminist connections attentive to the complexities of global power relations and uneven east/west interconnections. Rethinking the current possibilities for solidarities may lead to seeing how the uprising in Belarus and the BLM protests have points of connection on the grounds of state-sanctioned violence, neoliberal enclosures, suppression of political dissent, and their racialized/colonial roots. However, forging transnational solidarities also requires a certain work of reflection on how political protests may uphold global racial/colonial logic and overshadow racial violence. Therefore, in this article, I foreground how post-Soviet vulnerability may help disrupt the status quo or the privilege of whiteness instead of reinforcing it.
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