16 Days of Activism 2021: Histories, legacies, myths and memories

Our annual 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence will be back soon with a new theme – Histories, legacies, myths and memories – this year. Here’s an exclusive sneak peek on our vision statement for the year.

Image above: Montage of posts from 16 Days Blogathon 2020

Coming Very Soon! We are one week away from the beginning of our annual 16days blogathon campaigning against Gender-Based Violence (November 25-December 10). We are excited to announce that 2021’s focus will be on histories, legacies, myths and memories, led from Edinburgh by the Histories of Gender and Sexualities Research Group. As always, during our 16 days marathon of blogposts, we will feature posts from academics, students, activists, practitioners, artists and survivors (noting that these categories are not exclusive).

We will explore the connection between past and present, highlighting the historical and longitudinal dimensions that have shaped narratives, experiences and activisms surrounding gender-based violence today. In doing so, we hope to draw attention to voices and perspectives from multiple geographies and time periods (from antiquity to the very recent past) accessed through the formal archive and oral history as well as through literature and the creative arts, including traditional music, poetry and storytelling.

Through legend, myth and collective memory, the past shapes contemporary understandings and narratives of gendered violence but can also be used as a resource in cultures of resistance.

The residues and traces of the past connect us through common humanity and through women’s shared though not identical experiences of living in patriarchal societies.

Ultimately, we hope that this year’s theme will help us to identify what is unique and distinct about the ‘where’ and ‘when’ we inhabit, what came before, and how to get to where we want to be.

Here are some of our contributions for this year:

Anne Summers, Where it all began – Almost 50 years on, Anne Summers writes about the opening of Elsie Women’s Refuge in 1974. 

Maha Krayem Abdo OAM, Bringing back hope – In working towards a domestic and family violence free Australia, Muslim Women Australia (MWA) use faith as a tool for empowerment. 

Claire E Aubin and Emily Rose Hay, Duties of care – The Emotionally Demanding Histories Group asks, how do we ensure emotionally engaged researchers are not harmed during the process while bringing justice to past stories?

Tanuja Kothiyal – While we expect oral traditions which provide voice to marginal communities and groups, to create space for women’s voices, even in these traditions women’s locations remain marginal and mostly with respect to the male figures.

Monimalika Day – Sometimes, apparently simple words such as respect and trust open a Pandora’s box, the answers to these uncomfortable questions about human relationships cannot be found in the curriculum…can we assume that family is a safe space? Can we assume any relationship to be safe?


You can read the full vision statement for this year’s 16 Days Blogathon below.

The 2021 curators:

University of Edinburgh: Prof. Fiona Mackay (genderED), Dr. Zubin Mistry (lead, Histories of Gender and Sexualities Research Group), Prof. Louise Jackson, Prof. Diana Paton, Dr Hatice Yildiz, Aerin Lai (PhD web and editorial assistant) for genderED and Histories of Gender and Sexualities Research Group

Dr B R Ambedkar University Delhi: Prof. Rukmini Sen (Director, Centre for Publishing), Dr Rachna Mehra (School of Global Affairs)

University of New South Wales: Prof. Jan Breckenridge (Co-Convenor), Mailin Suchting (Manager) and Georgia Lyons (Research Assistant) for the Gendered Violence Research Network.

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