Start main page content

Decolonising Feminism (#DecFem2016)

The Wits Centre for Diversity Studies will host an international conference on the 24, 25, 26 August 2016 in Johannesburg at the Sunnyside Park hotel, Parktown. The conference will critically consider the entanglements of feminism with colonialism and anti-colonialism.

Feminism has a multifarious history in that, while some critical feminist expressions have conceived of patriarchy as a global concern, many branches of feminism have elided the experience of non-Western women from critical feminism, or have enshrined Eurocentric values within a feminist discourse. Some theorizations have obscured the struggles of women who are queer, transgender, or disabled, and racialized social structures have given white feminists more direct access to political power and public discourse than those feminists who confront combined gender and racial oppression. The mantra ‘feminism is for everybody,’ which is also sometimes written ‘feminism is for every body,’ calls attention to the need for feminist modes which are not merely adaptable to non-Western experience, but which are rather fused at the root with the diversity of women.  

The conference will feature performances by Drama for Life’s Playback Theatre, The Vagina monologues (Directed by Tapuwa Moore) as well as Thandi Ntuli.

Photojournalist and documentary photographer Gulshan Khan will exhibit images for the duration of the conference, from the ongoing project "Woke", a series on black women in spaces of movement and consciousness.

The Vagina Monologues: If your vagina could talk what would it say? (Directed by Tapuwa Moore) - See more at: Ntuli. 

In addition to a roster of academic and creative presentations, the conference will feature a Film screening and discussion (with One In Nine activists) about:

  • The One In Nine Campaign's ‘Feminists in Conversation: Sex, politics and leadership’ featuring 7 feminists from different sectors speaking about about feminism, sex, feminist leadership and the movement in SA.

Thandi Ntuli will be performing at the conference’s Evening Event on the 25 August 2016, at the Living Room, Maboneng Precinct, 5:30 pm. The cost is R350. 

On the evening of the 26th August 2016, 6pm, we will be hosting the S.T Lee Public Keynote Lecture with Dr Grada Kilomba at the Wits Theatre (Decolonizing Knowledge a performance Lecture), 6pm. This event is open to the public.




Keynote Speakers

Professor Maria Lugones

Professor Srila Roy

Professor Pumla Gqola

Dr Grada Kilomba


Funders and Partners

The conference is funded by the Ford Foundation, S.T Lee, South African Research Chair in Critical Diversity Studies, Goethe Institut.

Enquiries: or



Giving to Wits

School of Public Health Building

Whether you invest in a promising young student, or contribute towards vital research or new buildings and facilities – giving to Wits brings great personal satisfaction and lasting results you can be proud of for years to come.

Give to Wits