Renata Motta – Allowing rural difference to make a difference: The Brazilian Marcha das Margaridas

Feminist scholarship has either focused on solidarity across differences along categories of inequality established in intersectional approaches (i.e. race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality) – what in this volume is called intersectional feminist analytics – or as a praxis of linking struggles across different national contexts, such as in transnational feminist networks (TFNs) – transnational feminist praxes. A problem arises when situated un-derstandings of transnational feminism or intersectionality are expected to inform an analysis of feminist solidarity. We suggest that rurality is a category of colonial difference that has emerged in solidarity-building in Latin American struggles against the coloniality of power and the coloniality of gender. Far from an established category in intersectionality analysis, rurality might inform other struggles in a global context of increasing violence in areas of commodities extraction, such as in mining regions and agrarian frontiers. We make our argument through a study of the Marcha das Margaridas, a mass mobilization led by feminist organizations within rural trade unions in Brazil. We analyzed how the political subject of the Marcha, at the start centered on rural working women, has developed over two decades to allow women living and working in different socio-spatialities to identify with the Marcha. The political subject “women from the field, the forest and the waters” shows how the rural difference becomes a main site of identification while not lending itself to essentialization. Rather, the rural difference gives space for solidarity-building, not only through the linking of different geographies, but, above all, by recognizing difference within the intersections of gender, class, and socio-spatiality.

Time & Location

May 18, 2022 | 04:00 PM

Workshop “Doing Global Sociology – Methodology and Theory after the Postcolonial Critique”, at the Historical Observatory, University of Göttingen.

Geismar Landstraße 11
37083 Göttingen