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Mithu Sanyal

Mithu Sanyal - foto Regentaucher
Mithu Sanyal - foto Regentaucher

(Germany, 1971) is a cultural scientist, journalist and author who writes about sex, gender, post-colonialism, power and racism. Her dissertation on the cultural history of female genitalia was published as Vulva. Die Enthüllung des unsichtbaren Geschlechts (Vulva: A Revelation of the Invisible Sex, 2009), a pioneering work. Since 1996 Sanyal has written features and radio plays for the German broadcaster WDR, and publishes essays and articles in publications such as The Guardian and various German magazines. Her study Vergewaltigung. Aspekte eines Verbrechens (2016; English translation Rape. From Lucretia to #MeToo, 2019) shows that beliefs about rape have had a long and remarkably consistent history. In her debut novel Identitti (2021), Sanyal addresses identity politics in a story that involves a student and her Post Colonial Studies teacher who is not the person of color she pretends to be.

(WN 2021)

Archive available for: Mithu Sanyal

  • Slow Winternachten festival februari & maart 2021

    Mithu Sanyal in The Female Convention - #TheFutureIsFemale

    With: Mithu Sanyal

    Hello! I love you. I love you all. But: what does it mean? Of course I am speaking about love. I am a women. I am so cis I haven't worn a pair of trousers in a year.

    In her essay, Mithu Sanyal speaks about love in a political sense. Her video essay, written on request by Writers Unlimited as keynote speech for the Winternachten festival 2021-programme #TheFutureIsFemale: The Female Convention is an inspiring and confrontational report by a driven researcher about her investigation into love as a political force.

    It's up to us. This is what women in Poland and Turkey are demanding in their protests for gender equality and for better protection against violence. The ruling right-wing nationalist politicians in their countries want to withdraw from the so-called Istanbul Convention. This human rights convention of the Council of Europe is the world's first binding instrument to prevent and tackle violence against women. Some governments doubt the "moral implications" of this important milestone and even believe that it could be "harmful" to their societies.

    In The Female Convention, we analyzed the demonstrations and gave a voice to authors. In short: we employed literature to make the convention tangible and to breathe new life into it. This program featuring strong women and political current affairs was hosted by journalist Nicole le Fever and has been made by programme maker and writer Meltem Halaceli.

    Mithu Sanyal (Germany) is a cultural scientist, journalist and author who writes about sex, gender, post-colonialism, power and racism. Her dissertation on the cultural history of female genitalia was published as Vulva. Die Enthüllung des unsichtbaren Geschlechts (Vulva: A Revelation of the Invisible Sex, 2009), a pioneering work. Since 1996 Sanyal has written features and radio plays for the German broadcaster WDR, and publishes essays and articles in publications such as The Guardian and various German magazines. Her study Vergewaltigung. Aspekte eines Verbrechens (2016; English translation Rape. From Lucretia to #MeToo, 2019) shows that beliefs about rape have had a long and remarkably consistent history. In her debut novel Identitti (2021), Sanyal addresses identity politics in a story that involves a student and her Post Colonial Studies teacher who is not the person of color she pretends to be.

  • Slow Winternachten festival februari & maart 2021

    The Female Convention - #TheFutureIsFemale

    With: Kaouthar Darmoni, Laura van Dolron, Meltem Halaceli, Mithu Sanyal, Mona Eltahawy, Nazmiye Oral, Nicole le Fever, Zsófia Bán

    It's up to us. This is what women in Poland and Turkey are demanding in their protests for gender equality and for better protection against violence. The ruling right-wing nationalist politicians in their countries want to withdraw from the so-called Istanbul Convention. This human rights convention of the Council of Europe is the world's first binding instrument to prevent and tackle violence against women. Some governments doubt the "moral implications" of this important milestone and even believe that it could be "harmful" to their societies.

    3:17 - Dilâra Gürcü (France), interview.
    14:10 - Mona Eltahawy (US), video essay.
    17:25 - Zsófia Bán (Hungary), interview.
    30:38 - Dilâra Gürcü (France), question audience.
    33:03 - Kaouthar Darmoni (Netherlands), interview.
    42:03 - Nazmiye Oral (Netherlands), interview.
    48:48 - Kaouthar Darmoni (Netherlands), question audience.
    51:09 - Mithu Sanyal (Germany) preview video piece and interview.
    1:02:21 - Kaouthar Darmoni reaction on Mithu Sanyal
    1:04:14 - Nazmiye Oral, question audience.
    1:05:51 - Laura van Dolron (Netherlands), live written poem.
    Moderated by Nicole le Fever.

    In The Female Convention, we analyzed the demonstrations and gave a voice to authors. In short: we employed literature to make the convention tangible and to breathe new life into it. This program featuring strong women and political current affairs was hosted by journalist Nicole le Fever and has been made by programme maker and writer Meltem Halaceli. Those interested could take part actively by joining the chat session, hosted by theatre maker and stand-up philosopher Laura van Dolron.

    Nicole le Fever and Turkish writer, psychologist and feminist Dilâra Gürcü zoomed in on the protests in Turkey, but also on the means of protest and the role of writers and artists in this matter. Gürcü provided an impressive testimony of her life, which has changed dramatically since 2013.

    The Hungarian writer and literary critic Zsófia Bán told us how she claims women's rights with the sharpness and imagination of language.

    Egyptian-American journalist, writer and feminist Mona Eltahawy made it crystal clear by means of a video message that the convention does not do sufficient justice to refugees and women without residence permits, or who depend on their partners for their residence status.

    We also spoke to Kaouthar Darmoni, CEO of Atria, Institute on gender equality and women's history in Amsterdam, and to actor and writer Nazmiye Oral about the role they can and want to play in this debate. How do they voice their activism and feminism from their positions?

    Next, we zoomed out to a "politics of love" with the German writer, journalist and cultural scientist Mithu Sanyal. Her books Vulva (2009) and Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo (2019) explore how our society has dealt with sexual violence for centuries, and what that says about our beliefs on sex, sexuality and gender. Her video-essay is an inspiring and confrontational report by a driven researcher about her investigation into love as a political force.

    Watch here the keynote speech Love Politics by Mithu Sanyal.

    Read here the text of the key-note speech 'Love Politics' by Mithu Sanyal written for this programme on request of the Winternachten international literature festival The Hague.

    (Find the Dutch-language version here/Lees hier de Nederlandstalige versie)

    Read and watch on here:

    Zsófia Bán
    website

    Laura van Dolron
    website

    Kaouthar Darmoni
    website
    website Atria - Institute on gender equality and women's history

    Mona Eltahawy
    website: FEMINIST GIANT newsletter
    Video: Mona Eltahawys video-essays, among which FEMINIST GIANT
    .

    Dilâra Gürcü
    Articles by Gürcü at online magazine sister-hood
    Gürcüs webpage at INSEAD - The Business School for the World, Paris

    Meltem Halaceli
    Meltem Halaceli's publications at Dutch online news portal De Correspondent
    Instagram
    Facebook

    MIthu Sanyal
    Video: Mithu Sanyal in conversation with Verso on her book Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo
    Articles by Mithu Sanyal in The Guardian


  • Winternachten 2021

    #TheFutureIsFemale: The Female Convention

    With: Dilâra Gürcü, Kaouthar Darmoni, Laura van Dolron, Meltem Halaceli, Mithu Sanyal, Mona Eltahawy, Nazmiye Oral, Nicole le Fever, Zsófia Bán

    Watch here the keynote speech Love Politics by the German writer, journalist and cultural scientist Nithu Sanyal.

    It's up to us. This is what women in Poland and Turkey are demanding in their protests for gender equality and for better protection against violence. The ruling right-wing nationalist politicians in their countries want to withdraw from the so-called Istanbul Convention. This human rights convention of the Council of Europe is the world's first binding instrument to prevent and tackle violence against women. Some governments doubt the "moral implications" of this important milestone and even believe that it could be "harmful" to their societies.

    In The Female Convention, we analyzed the demonstrations and gave a voice to authors. In short: we employed literature to make the convention tangible and to breathe new life into it. This program featuring strong women and political current affairs was hosted by journalist Nicole le Fever and has been made by programme maker and writer Meltem Halaceli. Those interested could take part actively by joining the chat session, hosted by theatre maker and stand-up philosopher Laura van Dolron.

    Nicole le Fever and Turkish writer, psychologist and feminist Dilâra Gürcü zoomed in on the protests in Turkey, but also on the means of protest and the role of writers and artists in this matter. Gürcü provided an impressive testimony of her life, which has changed dramatically since 2013.

    The Hungarian writer and literary critic Zsófia Bán told us how she claims women's rights with the sharpness and imagination of language.

    Egyptian-American journalist, writer and feminist Mona Eltahawy made it crystal clear by means of a video message that the convention does not do sufficient justice to refugees and women without residence permits, or who depend on their partners for their residence status.

    We also spoke to Kaouthar Darmoni, CEO of Atria, Institute on gender equality and women's history in Amsterdam, and to actor and writer Nazmiye Oral about the role they can and want to play in this debate. How do they voice their activism and feminism from their positions?

    Next, we zoomed out to a "politics of love" with the German writer, journalist and cultural scientist Mithu Sanyal. Her books Vulva (2009) and Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo (2019) explore how our society has dealt with sexual violence for centuries, and what that says about our beliefs on sex, sexuality and gender. Her video-essay is an inspiring and confrontational report by a driven researcher about her investigation into love as a political force.
    Watch here the video-essay Love Politics by Mithu Sanyal.

    Read here the contribution by Mithu Sanyal written for this programme on request of the Winternachten international literature festival The Hague.
    (Find the Dutch-language version here/Lees hier de Nederlandstalige versie)

    Read and watch on here:

    Zsófia Bán
    website

    Laura van Dolron
    website

    Kaouthar Darmoni
    website
    website Atria - Institute on gender equality and women's history

    Mona Eltahawy
    website: FEMINIST GIANT newsletter
    Video: Mona Eltahawys video-essays, among which FEMINIST GIANT
    .

    Dilâra Gürcü
    Articles by Gürcü at online magazine sister-hood
    Gürcüs webpage at INSEAD - The Business School for the World, Paris

    Meltem Halaceli
    Meltem Halaceli's publications at Dutch online news portal De Correspondent
    Instagram
    Facebook

    MIthu Sanyal
    Video: Mithu Sanyal in conversation with Verso on her book Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo
    Articles by Mithu Sanyal in The Guardian