Feminism in transit A study of the transnational feminist movement Non Una Di Meno
thesisposted on 18.08.2021, 09:31 by Lidia Salvatori
Drawing from a digitally mediated autoethnographic study within the Italian feminist movement Non Una Di Meno,1 inspired by the Argentinian anti-femicide collective Ni Una Menos, this thesis asks: how can we conceptualise feminist activism as a process of transit and transformation? In doing so, it provides a nuanced analysis of contemporary feminist activism in Italy, as part of a transnational feminist tide.
The thesis considers how this movement transformed and grew over three years (2016-2019) and contributes to growing debates in feminist and social movement studies on the development of mobilisation in exceptional times (Della Porta, 2017). Building on recent scholarship conceptualising the emergence of a wave of digitally mediated feminism (Mendes et al., 2019), the thesis explores the role of internet-based communication for feminist theorising and grassroots mobilisation.
Contrary to scholarly expectations of reduced mobilisation in times of crisis, in recent years, Italy saw the emergence of gender and anti-austerity protest (Chironi, 2019). This thesis points to the feminist movement analysed as a distinctive actor within such context, able to propose alternative ways of 'doing politics', aimed at systemic change.
Feminists in different localities contribute to form a new political subject and construct transnational cognitive frames (Monforte, 2014). Drawing from previous experiences, feminists create horizontal organisational forms while carrying out unobtrusive, 'unglamorous' (Davis, 2008) actions aimed at local transformations, that call for an expansion of the notion of activism. This emerging form of 'locally rooted feminist internationalism' is made possible by digital connectivity and by a shared sense of affective dissonance (Hemmings, 2012), joy and rage (Ahmed, 2017).
Centering the analysis on feminists' perceptions and experiences, the thesis explores how individual resources and affective connections are mobilized towards organizing
activism. The thesis also fills a gap in literature on the invisible emotional and unrecognized labour of feminist activism and on the experience of receiving online