On Monday, I gave a lecture at Cemus (Centre for Environment and Development Studies). Cemus is a student-initiated and interdisciplinary center at SLU and Uppsala University with the ambition to contribute to a just and sustainable world. This is done not least by offering courses and through education creating spaces for dialogue between students, researchers and social actors from various fields and backgrounds. I was invited as a guest lecturer on a course called “Climate change and leadership in practice”, to talk about my research project about Muslim women, art, and activism, a subject that might be seen as completely different from the subject of climate change, but the idea was to throughout the course highlight methods and strategies different groups use within their activism. The first part of the lecture focused on highlighting specific examples of how a younger generation of Muslim women in Sweden uses artforms such as theater and spoken word poetry to highlight experiences of racism and exclusion. After the break, the whole group engaged in dialogue on potential correlations between different social movements such as the anti-racist and feminist movement and the climate movement. Central questions discussed were:
How can we understand the work carried out by these women in relation to wider social movements?
What connections are there between the work against climate change and, for example, anti-racist struggles?
What role can art play in bringing different communities together for a broader common cause?
This was a really rewarding meeting, coming together with students, who are engaged in the field of climate change, to understand how seemingly vastly different issues still correlate. Too broaden one’s perspective.