This is a nuanced and compelling analysis of grassroots feminist activism in Russia in the politically turbulent 2010s.
Drawing on rich ethnographic data, the author illustrates how a new generation of activists chose feminism as their main political beacon, and how they negotiated the challenges of authoritarian and conservative trends.
As we witness a backlash against feminism on a global scale with the rise of neo-conservative governments, this highly relevant book decentres Western theory and concepts on feminism and social movements, offering significant insights into how resistance can mobilise and invent creative tactics to cope with an increasingly repressed space for independent political action.
awakenings and everyday life in dialogue with my ethnographic observation of the collective forms taken by feminist activism. My aim is to illustrate, among other things, that feminism had been a great therapeutic resource for the activists, and had played a key role in their taking public agency, albeit on their own terms. In this chapter I thus aim to reveal the healing texture of activism, and how it is fundamental to feminist resistance. I introduce four typical ways of narrating one’s feminist awakening, how these connect with everyday dimensions of activism, and
‘resourceful feminist’ might also be answered in another way. Based on how they narrated their feminist awakenings, all the activists appeared resourceful in comparison with their earlier ‘patriarchal’ selves. According to the activists’ narratives, feminism appears to have been a great therapeutic resource for the individuals, allowing them to help themselves, heal and transform. They had also found like-minded individuals with whom to take collective action and engage in mutual support. However, the therapeutic aspects also appear to illuminate friction and struggles
platform for their feminist awakenings. However, the protests were followed by new restrictions on public protest, pushing those still organizing street demonstrations into an increasingly narrow space. The limitations following the protests have, among other things, contributed to the birth of what Gabowitsch (2017 : 217–219) has called ‘protest ghettos’, referring to distant and confined protest spaces where activists are isolated from the rest of society, performing their agenda only to the officials and possibly opponents present. These kinds of separate enclosures
, similarly discussed how her perspective had changed after her feminist awakening, connecting these changes with the mental mobility allowed by feminism itself: ‘What has also changed in me, as feminism developed, some of my racist habits disappeared. I began to pay more attention to the experiences of migrant women. At the beginning of my feminism, I somehow thought that these are not very important problems, whereas now I understand that these are important, maybe even more important than our internal problems. Because the law may not be strong, but it still somehow