Afro-Feminist Festival Calls Out Mayor For Accusing Them Of Racism

By: Zahara Hill, HuffPost Black Voices

Zahara Hill reports backlash of a black feminist event— the Nyansapo Festival— scheduled to commence July 28 in Paris by the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo.

Organized by the Mwasi Collective, the festival was “to be a safe space for black feminists to curate sociopolitical strategies to overcome marginalization and oppression.” Unfortunately, the event caused controversy with “far right and anti-racism organizations calling foul after it came out that most of the event’s activities would occur in racially exclusive spaces.”

Hill quotes an interpretation of the mayor’s tweet:

“A translated tweet from Hidalgo on Sunday revealed she took issue with the festival being “forbidden to whites” and that she would even consider prosecuting the event organizers for discrimination.”

However, after a discussion with the Mwasi Collective the mayor came to a solution, as revealed in a later tweet:

“The festival organized in a public place will be open to all. Non-mixed workshops will be held elsewhere, in a strictly private setting…”

PC: Mwasi Collective

Controversy ensued when the Mwasi Collective claimed that the “set-up didn’t change as a result of a conversation with Hidalgo; they’d already intended for the “non-mixed” workshops to take place on private property…”

According to Hill, the Nyansapo festival will proceed, and so will the continuation of white fragility in the City of Lights.

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Paris mayor says ‘solution’ found for black feminist event

By Thomas Adamson, washingtonpost.com

(Christophe Ena, File/Associated Press)

PARIS — The mayor of Paris said Monday that a “clear solution” has been found with organizers of a festival for black feminists, an event that had aroused her ire because four-fifths of the festival space was to be open exclusively to black women.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo had strongly criticized and threatened to cancel the upcoming Nyansapo Festival a day earlier because it was “forbidden to white people.”

In a new series of tweets on the topic, Hidalgo said her “firm” discussion with organizers had yielded a satisfactory clarification: the parts of the festival held on property would be open to everyone and “non-mixed workshops will be held elsewhere, in a strictly private setting.”…

Anti-racism associations and far-right politicians in France both had criticized the event over the weekend for scheduling workshops limited to a single gender and race….

On Sunday, Hidalgo had said she would call on authorities to prohibit the cultural festival and might call for the prosecution of its organizers on grounds of discrimination.

MWSAI via Twitter

“I firmly condemn the organization of this event in Paris (that’s) ‘forbidden to white people,’” Hidalgo had written….

Prominent French rights organization SOS Racism was among civil rights groups condemning the festival, calling it “a mistake, even an abomination, because it wallows in ethnic separation, whereas anti-racism is a movement which seeks to go beyond race.”

The International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA), meanwhile, called the festival a “regression” and said American civil rights icon “Rosa Parks must be turning in her grave.”

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