Anti-Black State Violence Symposium: One Year Reflection & Updates

This past week marked the one-year anniversary of the symposium on Anti-Black State Violence Across the Americas: Power and Struggle in Brazil and the U.S. (ABSV Symposium) – organized by the LUTA Initiative, and hosted by the University of California, Berkeley in February 2019. We write to celebrate the ongoing force of this historic encounter. We are excited to share updates on the continued interventions of this project for political action, scholarship and pedagogy!

This unprecedented symposium hosted nearly 30 leading activists, scholars and scholar-activists from Brazil and the U.S.—homes to the two largest Black populations outside the African continent. Given the socially and politically tumultuous moment for the U.S. and Brazil (and beyond), these cross-national dialogues with influential Black Movement leaders are a crucial resource of knowledge and important tools for mobilizing resistance against racialized violence. Over the course of three days, and with over 500 attendees, we engaged in cross-national dialogue on the histories, experiences and forms of challenging anti-black state violence across generations, cultures, and political systems shared and elaborated concepts to question and foster knowledges on how anti-blackness operates both through the state and across national borders strengthened concrete strategies and transnational coalitions to challenge racialized repression, and its intersection with gender, class, sexuality and other modes of marginalizing individuals/communities (re)imagined the world that such solidarity can build in the contexts of political engagement/refusal, cultural production and community-centered healing.

Just one year later, this gathering has forged coalitions, intellectual pathways and collaborative projects….and the future possibilities are endless! We’ve seen a dynamic coalition between the Anti Police-Terror Project (U.S.) and Reaja ou Sera Mort@ (Brazil) in combating racialized police terror. UC Berkeley students have travelled to Salvador, Brazil to collaborate with the Winnie Mandela School for Political Action. Black movement leaders from Brazil have returned to the U.S. for positions as visiting researchers and artists-in-residence. Two peer-reviewed articles based on symposium panel dialogues have been accepted by academic journals for publication.

We have a new website – check out symposium videos and more! The LUTA Initiative’s website is now live! Here you will find more information about our ongoing initiatives and a comprehensive archive of the symposium – with info on individual events, photos, and panel videos.

The LUTA Initiative is working to ensure the symposium’s continued and far-reaching force by making panel videos widely accessible as tools for political action, innovative research, and critical pedagogy. We have several videos already available with captioning in both Portuguese and English. Making ALL panel recordings accessible via translation and captioning is one of LUTA’s ongoing projects. Please share these videos with your networks and stay tuned for future uploads!

If you have any inquiries or are interested to support, you can contact us at theluta2019@gmail.com

A luta continua! In solidarity,
The LUTA Initiative