Young feminists have reacted especially quickly to the pandemic’s impact on marginalised groups, young women and girls. The gendered impacts of surveillance technologies, state oppression, and immediate economic contraction are all too familiar for those who have already been working with a feminist approach, but the exacerbated impact of the pandemic has spurred feminists to collaborate more, reflect on the rapidly shifting landscapes together, and be especially creative in thinking about pathways and solutions.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Bárbara Paes, a young Brazilian feminist who works at the intersection of technology and social justice, the co-founder of Minas Programam, a collective project from São Paulo, Brazil led by mostly young women of colour to learn programming skills and other abilities. She also works at The Engine Room. While it was many years ago that we met at APC’s Feminist Internet meeting in Malaysia, we’ve shared conversations over the years on the state of feminist funding, young feminist-led activism, and Black feminist activism in Brazil. For this conversation, we delved deeper into Paes’ formational experiences as a young feminist, her practices in terms of leadership and partnership, a Black feminist perspective on the co-optation of gender issues in technology spaces, and some of the projects that she’s been working on during the pandemic that has enormously affected Brazil.
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