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Currently, we have five exciting keynotes confirmed.

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Lilie Chouliaraki is Professor of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her work focuses on the ethical and political complexities of mediating vulnerability with particular emphasis on three domains in which vulnerability appears as a problem of communication: humanitarian and human rights advocacy; war & conflict reporting and migration news. She is the author of several books, including the award-winning volume "The Ironic Spectator. Solidarity in the age of post-humanitarianism" (Polity, 2013). Her most recent work is on the cultural politics of victimhood in western societies (Wronged: The Weaponization of Victimhood) and her keynote will draw on the book's argument to address the following questions: Why is being a victim such a potent identity today? Who claims to be a victim, and why? Who benefits and who loses from the struggles over victimhood in public culture? 

Professor Chouliaraki will be introduced by Dr Angeliki Sifaki, who will also be the keynote discussant.

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Prof dr Ayşe Gül Altınay will speak about the practices of memory walks and setting up new bridges between the past, the present and the future. Her work on militarism, gender and memory (see curious steps) has inspired many. Her current research focuses on feminist+ solidarity and transformative activism.


Dr Pumla Dineo Gqola is a feminist author and Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at Nelson Mandela University, where she holds the South African Research Chair in African Feminist Imagination. She has authored five books, including the landmark 'What is Slavery to me? Postcolonial/Slave memory in post-apartheid South Africa' (2010), and the 2016 Alan Paton Award winning 'Rape: A South African Nightmare and Female Fear Factory'. Pumla's coinage "the female fear factory" earned the 2023 Breakthrough Award in Humanities and Social Sciences by the Falling Walls Foundation in Berlin.
Outside the academy, Pumla Gqola sits on the Board of Trustees of the African feminist strategic litigation firm, Women's Legal Centre, and previously chaired the Board of the 1in9 Campaign, a feminist non-profit. She has also served on the boards of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Press and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR).

Professor Gqola will be introduced by Dr Karolina Szpyrko, who will also be the keynote discussant. 

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Nancy Jouwe (Delft, 1967) is a cultural historian and works as a freelance researcher, writer, lecturer and public speaker with a focus on intersectionality, the (post)colonial past and contemporary social and cultural practices. She is currently working on a PhD at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. In addition, he is a fellow at the HKU, Utrecht Academy of Arts in the period 2022-2025.

As an author and co-editor, she has published several articles on the ZMV women's movement (with Maayke Botman and Gloria Wekker: Caleidoscopische visies. De zwarte, migranten- en vluchtelingen vrouwenbeweging in Nederland,  (original 2001, reprinted 2024: Caleidoscopische visies | Walburg Pers),  gender and colonialism and the Dutch slavery past: the most recent collections are De slavernij in Oost en West. The Amsterdam research (Spectrum, 2020), Gendered Empire (Verloren, 2020), Slavery and the city of Utrecht (Walburg Pers, 2021) and Slavery Revisited (LMPublishers, 2021).

Previously, she held management positions in the sectors of human rights, culture and heritage. She also has a lot of experience in board and committee work, including for the ASKV, the Mondriaan Foundation, the KITLV association, the HAPIN foundation, Movies that Matter, Netwerk CS, Public Amusement, the municipality of Utrecht and the Science Shop for humanities of Utrecht University. She is currently chair of BAK, Basisvoor Actuele Kunst, co-chair of Mama Cash and co-founder of art platform Framer Framed and research project Mapping Slavery in which she designed and inspired city (also in Utrecht) walks along places that testify to the history of slavery.


Relational artist/researcher and educator Sophie Krier works alongside communities to unravel the affective, cultural and more than human relations they weave with the territories they inhabit. In 2015-2020 she developed and led the Liberal Arts & Sciences track Art & Design Practice at University College Roosevelt (Utrecht University) where she guided students in situating, embodying and materialising their ideas (for ex. with the course Interweaving Biographies). Informal, alternative learning spaces for shared reflection co-realised by Krier throughout the years include a series of long term conversations (Field Essays) and outdoor classrooms. Since 2018 Krier practices ‘acupuncture of place' with School of Verticality: an ongoing field research into the dynamics of interiority, attunement and presence.

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