“Our lives are political!” Afrofeminism in France: The counterattack of the granddaughters of the Empire

Special report: Truant participation
By Silyane Larcher

To what extent may moral and emotional ordeals, accumulated across life trajectories, sustain a set of activities at the root of legitimate political participation? The plural aspects of the afrofeminist experience in contemporary France, unfolding in various and heterogeneous places (whether private, public or semi-public), invite us to address this question. Afrofeminism can be defined as a politics of emotional sensibility, considering the re-characterization of subjective and intimate experiences into a common ordeal that female activists critically and reflexively examine. Drawing on a careful study of the variety of afrofeminist political expressions and discourses of activists—in particular, the life narrative of one of the Mwasi Collective’s founders—, this article aims to qualify and complicate current analyses of the working classes’ de-politicization or political demobilization. It also shows that, for those who are subordinated, politics is in many respects still related to an emancipatory political imagination that crucially challenges equality in social relations.


  • afrofeminist
  • intersectionality
  • trajectories
  • affects
  • discriminations
  • political subjectification
  • participation
Go to the article on Cairn-int.info