Selim Nadi from the Parti des Indigènes de la République (PIR) explains why the building of an autonomous political force for people of color in France is needed. In January 2005, several anti-racist activists and organizations sent out a call – l’appel des Indigènes de la République. This call was sent out in a context of very strong racial tensions in the French Hexagon : girls wearing hijabs were thrown out of school (2004 – but this issue goes back to the 1990s), the French banlieues were rising up (2005), etc. … The aim of this call was to mobilize activists around the balance of forces deriving from the colonization. Thus, the call was saying that “France was a colonial state, France remains a colonial state”. This call received around 3000 signatures in a few weeks. After this call the Movement of the Indigenous of the Republic (M.I.R) was created, an organization that intended to be a political one. Nadi tracks the history of the PIR in the context of the theoretical and practical question: how to build an autonomous political force.
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“Why was I not immediately outraged when I saw the 12-year-old black African, heavily pregnant girl-child, Fridah, posing in pastel-coloured maternity clothes, in quite a sensual manner, in the Plan International Finland campaign advertisements meant to raise awareness about child pregnancies, placed on billboards, streets and public transport spaces all over Finland?”, asked Dr. Faith Mkwesha, Executive Director of the non-profit organization SahWira Africa International and researcher in gender studies at Åbo Akademi University. The advertisement campaign was awarded prizes for best advertisement.
SahWira Africa took a bold step to challenge the negative representation of Africans that perpetuates stereotypes and prejudices in the West, and demanded that Plan International Finland withdraws the campaign, and offers apologies to the African and PoC community, and return the prizes awarded to them. Plan has refused to apologise, and to return the prizes.
They started a campaign with discussion on social media, a demonstration at the office of Plan International where a petition was sent with the demands.
More information is to be found on: https://www.ruskeattytot.fi/rakenteet/protectblackgirlstoo.
See more information on: www.sahwira-africa.org
DIN wholeheartedly supports this campaign and will help mobilize against the dehumanization of African people in Western media.
We call upon other organization to join the campaign of SahWira and offer their support for their campaign. More information: Faith Mkwesha, firstname.lastname@example.org, whatsapp: 00 35 45 66 888 75.