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Bojan Bilic

Adjunct professor

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Useful contents

Student's impressions about the course Gender and Social Movements

My country is at war with me. Its hatefulness for dissenting bodies pierced through my soul, extracting all the light and love I was desperately trying to harbor. Determined to banish me from contesting their hegemonic practices, nationalism, capitalism and heteronormativity invaded the minds of others - my teachers, my colleagues, my friends, isolating me from those I was fighting for. It is not easy to care for a community that seeks to destroy your will and agency, to succumb you into the darkness of loneliness, to convince you of your worthlessness. These oppressive systems, seeping through the minds of those we love, show up as immutable, their power impossible to contest without a movement.

With this in mind, in the universe’s amusing arrangements, architects sat down, created a city at the intersection of the public and the private, and asked a vital question: “What if we put together people broken by the same systems and just let them love each other?” So, in a room with a circular table, on the third floor of a building in the city of Forli, a group of students from different parts of the world and their professor met everyday to discuss theory as a way of survival. All having been hated by their countries at a point in their lives, all aching for connection and understanding, they explored the musings of those in history who shared their struggles, unintentionally creating a transgenerational knowledge hub.

Much like what the Women in Black built for their members, the Gender and Social Movements class built for those taking it - a safe-haven. For me, it became a space of healing. To the foundation of feminist theory that I was versed in, the class added other concepts from the realm of intersectionality, touching on Roma activism, neocolonialism, abjection, homonationalism, homonormativity and the power of reflexivity. For the first time after a very long period, I began to love learning again, unafraid of not fitting into shapes for which I was never made. For the support I received, for the flexibility I was given and for the community that I encountered here, I will forever be grateful as it patched up the bleeding wound I came with to Forli. In the dark room my country was desperately trying to put me in, there were suddenly hands to hold, light garlands and hope.