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Mithu Sanyal in The Female Convention - #TheFutureIsFemale

'Love Politics' - video essay (English spoken)


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.