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Feminist activist Ms Silvia Federici presenting an
outdoor lecture at UKZN.

Feminist activist, writer, and academic/teacher, Ms Silvia Federici –   described as ‘one of the most important political theorists alive today’ – presented an outdoor lecture on the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus.

Hosted by the Paulo Freire project of the Centre for Adult Education in the School of Education, Federici spoke to more than 50 staff and students at the event.

In her Lecture, titled: “From Crisis to Commons: Reproduction and Women’s Struggles in the Global Economy”, Federici argued that crises are manufactured by neoliberal capitalism in order to regain its losses and to allow for further primitive accumulation of the commons.

She then looked at how people (particularly women) were resisting this by creating new commons through struggle and organisation. Federici drew on examples from the Occupy movement in the United States, Latin American social movements, and the urban food gardens movement.

Federici argued powerfully for building popular political power that is autonomous from the State and the political parties. As one participant commented: ‘She reminded us that there are lots of ways of being what we used to think was possible, but that we have been worn down into discounting and thinking it’s just not an option anymore.’

Born in Parma, Italy, Federici has lectured and taught widely in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and North America. She has participated in numerous international movements and social struggles, including feminist, education, anti-death penalty, anti-nuclear and anti-globalisation movements, and most recently, in the Occupy movement.

Her decades of research and political organising accompanies a long list of publications on philosophy and feminist theory, women’s history, education, Africa, culture, international politics, and the worldwide struggle against capitalist globalisation.