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Online discussion

Thursday, 15. July 2021 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Save in my calendar

Online discussion

A feminist exploration #7: Constructing “security” during a pandemic

Event recording | European Feminist Platform

Join us for the 7th edition of “A feminist exploration”, organised by the European Feminist Platform. This time, we will shed light on how questions of safety and security have been radically redefined during the Covid-19 pandemic. Together with Weronika Grzebalska and Jin Haritaworn, we will explore different processes of securitisation as well as the alternative understandings of safety that are emerging in marginalised communities. The discussion range is set in the context of Central and Eastern Europe and Germany.

During the pandemic, many states used the military and the police to provide essential social services. There was a shift within the military from national security towards human security. State practices, like police interventions, failed to protect racialised individuals and communities but prioritised the white heteronormative middle class. State and police have actively targeted racialised people, e.g. through the practice of racial profiling, in the name of public health and safety.

Weronika Grzebalska will explore what we can learn about the militarisation of a pandemic response through a critical feminist perspective in the context of Central and Eastern Europe. She argues that the systemic underfunding of the largely feminised health sector and the dissolution of 'soft' civil defence created voids which were then patched with military assistance. Jin Haritaworn, on the other hand, asks who is and who is not made safe by policing during the Covid-19 pandemic. They will discuss the alternative/transformative strategies for safety articulated by queer migrants, Black people, and people of colour in the German context.

This discussion series is powered by and created for feminist scholars, activists and policy makers – in Europe and beyond.


  • 30-minute discussion with Weronika Grzebalska, sociologist and Assistant Professor at the Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland, and Jin Haritaworn, Associate Professor of Gender, Race and Environment at York University, Canada.

  • 30-minute Q&A with the audience moderated by Helen Lessing, sustainability and queer feminist activist, Member of the European Feminist Platform.

If you have any questions, please contact Joan Lanfranco at

Note: The technical requirements for participating in the event are a computer, tablet or smartphone with a speaker. Online events will be held using the Zoom software, which will provide a link for participating. The event will be recorded.
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Brussels (CEST)
➽ See event description
Heinrich Böll Stiftung Brussels - European Union