Contesting Bans and Borders: White Women and Women of Color Feminists on the Cuban Venceremos Brigades

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Abstract

A wide spectrum of left feminist activists from the global North have participated in international solidarity delegations and brigades to support global liberation struggles, a long-standing form of radical social activism used to challenge imperialism, capitalism, and militarism. Based on travel narratives and interviews, I focus on the differing accounts of US women of color and white women who defied US travel bans to travel to Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade (established in 1969), the largest continuing mixed-gender and multiethnic Cuban solidarity organization. I highlight the differences and overlaps in how white women and women of color reacted to their political travels to Cuba and their daily negotiations of race, sexuality, gender, and cultural imperialism while there. I focus on how intersectional politics and frictions shaped their narratives and interpretations of Cuba and of each other, as well as their post-Cuba coalitional activism and political affinities. Given the continual popularity of transnational feminist solidarity delegations, I discuss the implications for strengthening contemporary transnational feminist solidarity delegations and coalitions across geopolitical and personal borders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-159
Number of pages31
JournalFeminist Formations
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Feminist Formations.

Keywords

  • border crossings
  • coalitions
  • gender
  • imperialism
  • racism
  • sexuality
  • solidarities
  • transnational feminist activism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Philosophy
  • Cultural Studies
  • Gender Studies

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