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TLRH | Behind the Headlines: Women in Resistance

Thursday, 10 December 2020, 7 – 8:30pm

TLRH | Behind the Headlines: Women in Resistance

Behind the Headlines: Women and Resistance in Belarus and Poland

The recent anti-government protests in Belarus and Poland have attracted significant media attention across the world, with commentators highlighting not only the remarkable resilience of the protesters in the face of violence but also the predominance of women at the forefront of the protests themselves. In this Behind the Headlines discussion, our panel of experts will address the background to the demonstrations in each country before considering the key role played by the protestors -- and particularly the women involved -- in mobilising an effective and enduring opposition.

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'What went wrong – how women ended being the losers in Poland’s ‘democratic’ transition?'  -Dr Jacqueline Hayden (TCD) 

Dr Jacqueline Hayden is director of the Centre for European Studies at Trinity College Dublin and author of Poles Apart: Solidarity and the New Poland and The Collapse of Communist Power in Poland: Strategic Misperceptions and Unanticipated Outcomes. She will explore how, since the election of the first PiS government,  there has been a sharp resurgence of Catholic church values in political life. In seeking to institutionalise an ethnic-Catholic vision of the nation, both church and state in Poland have launched an attack on modernity. Women and the LGBT+ community have been the victims of this assault.

Leading protests on and behind the scenes: Lessons from Belarus - Dr Aliaksandr Herasimenka (Oxford) 

Dr Herasimenka, is a postdoctoral researcher at the Computational Propaganda Project at the Oxford Internet Institute. His work investigates how political groups and governments use social media to manipulate public opinion. He also studies how people organise protest movements in authoritarian countries. In his talk, Dr Herasimenka will offer perspectives on the role of women in the post-election 2020 protests in Belarus, including their important role as symbolic leaders of the movement. 

SIGNS of the (feminist) revolution in Poland Dr Aneta Stępień (Maynooth University) 

Dr Aneta Stępień is a university tutor in Critical Skills Programme at Maynooth University. She has taught on Polish language and literature, cultures of Central and Eastern Europe and gender and her recent article “Women’s Organizations and Antisemitism: The First Parliamentary Elections in Independent Poland” (2020) appeared in Nationalities Papers. Her talk offers a feminist look on #StrajkKobiet, the Women’s Protest in Poland, a movement that emerged in September 2016 as a wave of manifestations against the governmental proposal of restricting the abortion law.

The protests in Belarus and Poland: a comparative overview - Balázs Apor (TCD)

Dr Apor is associate professor in European Studies at Trinity College Dublin and a historian of Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th Century, with a special focus on the Communist period. His research interests include the study of propaganda and symbolic politics under Communist rule, and the Sovietisation of Eastern Europe after the Second World War. He will discuss the protests in Belarus and Poland from a comparative angle, highlighting common patterns as well as differences between the two movements, as well as reflecting on their the remarkable endurance.

About Behind the Headlines

The Trinity Long Room Hub’s ‘Behind the Headlines’ discussion series draws on the expertise of distinguished panel contributors to explore contemporary issues in the broad contexts of Arts and Humanities research. Introduced in 2015, the series provides a forum for public understanding and creates a valuable space for informed and respectful public discourse. Find out more about Behind the Headlines series here
The Trinity Long Room Hub Behind the Headlines series is supported by the John Pollard Foundation.

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Accessibility: Yes
Room: Online webinar
Research Theme: Creative Arts Practice, Digital Humanities, Identities in Transformation, Making Ireland
Event Category: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Lectures and Seminars, Library, Public, Special events
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
Cost: Free but Registration Required

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