Global Queer and Feminist Activism: An Introduction

Olu Jenzen, Tessa Lewin

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


Queer and feminist visual activism has various origins across the globe and has emerged in a fluid cultural field of visual arts, popular culture, and protest aesthetics. Given the current context of gender backlash, these forms of activism have become urgent, and so too has scholarship that engages with global queer and feminist visual activism. In this special issue, we engage with the richness of activist aesthetics at the
intersections of popular culture, subculture, art and activism, and other forms of visual political communication, not by attempting to contain these manifestations, but by offering a set of navigational tools. We conceive of three primary forms of queer and feminist visual practice – protest, process and product – each with its own histories and epistemologies. Each of these forms offers the capacity for resistance and collaboration. By opening up cross- and inter-disciplinary perspectives, and conversations across diverse global contexts, struggles and possibilities, we aim to expand on existing scholarship both geographically and conceptually. A central motivation for this work has been to think beyond the image; to be able to capture and engage with the activist communities (and the activism) behind and alongside the
image and produced through the image. Taking the notion of social practice as an integral part of the ‘process’ of visual activism, we identify three emerging themes across the articles in this special issue: refusal, care, and thriving.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2022


  • visual activism
  • feminist and queer activism
  • aesthetics of protest
  • social movements
  • global south


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