Motherhood and Migration Symposium

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Centre for Research on Culture and Gender is organising an international free webinarMotherhood and Migration” on May 15th, 2020. The webinar consists of two keynote lectures in the morning and a discussion panel in the afternoon.

The webinar is free of charge and no registration is required beforehand. The program will start at 10am CEST (Central European Summer Time) and can be followed here:



10:00 Keynote speech “Matricentric Feminism: A Feminism for and About Mothers” by Prof Andrea O’Reilly (York University).

This first keynote by Prof Andrea O’Reilly will introduce a mother-centered mode of feminism and consider the context and challenges of a matricentric feminist theory and politics. Matricentric feminism seeks to make motherhood the business of feminism by positioning mothers’ needs and concerns as the starting point for a theory and politic on and for women’s empowerment. The lecture discusses why now more than ever, a mother-centred feminism is needed and long overdue because mothers remain disempowered despite forty years of feminism.


11:00 Keynote speech “Migrant Mothers as Citizens” by Prof Umut Erel (The Open University).

The second keynote speaker, Prof Umut Erel, will discuss migrant mothers in the context of integration and citizenship. Migrant mothers are often portrayed as outsiders to citizenship. They are seen as standing in the way of their children’s integration or as burdens to the state when they receive social, health and educational services. This logic, however, can be turned on its head. Migrant mothers raise future citizens for a multi-ethnic society, crossing ethnic boundaries to forge networks and friendships to care for children, and create new understandings of identity.


13:00 Discussion on “Narratives of Mothering and Migration divided into three sections:

13:00 session with Asma El-Fassi (producer of “Toen Ma naar Mars Vertrok”)

13:30 session with Sarah Avci (founder of “Palhik Mana vzw”)

14:00 session with Birsen Taspinar (author of “Moeders van de Stilte”)


In this panel we discuss three projects: “Toen Ma naar Mars Vertrok” (tr. When Ma Left for Mars; co-created by Asma El-Fassi), “Oh my darling angel, you are such a bitch” (co-created by Sara Avci) and “Moeders van de Stilte” (tr. Mothers of Silence; created by Birsen Taspinar). The panel will then address how their projects came about and the place of motherhood and migration in their realization.

Poster art by Gaia: