Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Brazil Initiative

Kia Caldwell ─ #MariellePresente: Reflections on Black Feminism, Political Power, and Violence in Brazil

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

12:00pm – 1:30pm

Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street

The March 2018 assassination of Brazilian activist and politician Marielle Franco led to domestic and global critique of Brazil’s increasing levels of violence and rapidly deteriorating political situation. This presentation examines Franco’s importance as a political figure, both during her life and since her untimely death. The analysis explores the intersectional dimensions of Franco’s political life and contributions, by locating her within two main political genealogies: black women politicians in the city of Rio de Janeiro who preceded her; and black feminist activists in Brazil and the United States who influenced Franco’s life and politics in profound ways. By situating Franco within these two genealogies, the analysis highlights and explores the significance of black women’s engagement in both activism and office seeking as paths to expand and reconceptualize democracy in Brazil.

Kia Lilly Caldwell is a professor of African, African American, and Diaspora studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.