The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, is now lending her blessing to a black feminist festival in the capital that limits certain areas of the festivities to black women only after previously calling for its banishment.
The Nyansapo Festival, described by organizers, The Mwasi Collective, as an “Afro-feminist movement that is active on a European scale,” is set to kick off in July.
According to the festival website states, the festival will be sepearareeparate into different areas, with 80 per cent of the festival grounds being reserved for black women with one space being open to “black people of all genders”, and another being “open to all.”
Naturally, the concept was met with backlash with various organizations referring to the event as “racist”, including anti-racism organization LICRA, who went so far to say that “Rosa Parks would be turning in her grave”.
— LICRA (@_LICRA_) May 26, 2017
The city’s mayor has also lent her opinion and called for the festival to be banned for the same reason.
In a series of tweets, Mayor Hidalgo wrote (in French), “I firmly condemn the organization of this event in Paris ‘prohibited to white people’.”
“I am asking for this festival to be banned. I will refer the matter to the Prefect of Police,” she wrote.
“I reserve the right to prosecute the organisers for discrimination.”
Organizers, however, affirmed that the purpose of the festival is to “build lasting strategies and solidarity and to share, exchange, and advance [black women’s] struggles.”
They also went on to acknowledge that they’ve been “the target of a campaign of disinformation and fake news.”
More recently, Hidalgo took to Twitter to explain that following a conversation with festival organizers, a “clear solution” had been established.
She acknowledged her newfound comprehension of the festival, which is open to all, with several private workshops, stating that the festival will strengthen “the fight against racism and sexism.”
Cette clarification doit permettre au festival #Nyansapo de tenir son rôle: contribuer à renforcer la lutte contre le racisme et le sexisme.
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) May 29, 2017