Dr Nilmini Fernando is a Sri Lankan Australian interdisciplinary feminist scholar and migrant settler of colour currently living and working in Narrm on the stolen lands of the Kulin Nation. She applies her expertise in critical race theory, critical intersectional praxis and decolonial feminist perspectives in the fields of migration/asylum, critical race studies, domestic and family violence, and arts- based practice. She provides education and consultancy for Anti-Racism, Diversity and Intersectionality for organisations. With a background in radio, spoken word and theatre of the oppressed, Nilmini is an originator of Loving Feminist Literature- a collective of artists/academics/activists who bring feminist of colour intellectual, philosophical, political and literary texts to public audiences.
- Wednesday the 1st of Jul - 2020
I am currently an adjunct Research Fellow at the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, and fellow for Dr Debbie Bargallie’s Critical Racial Literacy project at the department of Education at Griffith University, Queensland. My work -whether academic, organisational or creative- is grounded in a decolonial methodologies. I strive to expose and disrupt the interlocking structures of neocolonial white supremacist capitalist patriarchy (bell hooks). I critique the whiteness of liberal feminism and uplift scholarship and practice from Third World, Postcolonial, Black, and Indigenous feminisms. Central to my praxis is the revolutionary ethics of love. It is love that drives authentic change- love of self, of other, for life and freedom.
I use Sara Ahmed's 'Encounters' methodology to unpack the relationship between identity, representations, and performativity. That is, how difference is constructed at the level of discourse (through speech, , texts , visual representations, practices) and how these differences are ‘made to matter’ through relations of power/knowledge. I take readings ‘in the flesh’ that articulate unfulfilled longings for freedom – that exceed the notions of ‘rights’, ‘equality’ 'resilience' or 'empowerment' too common in missionary white feminism. Instead, we need to make more room to move , more room for modes of black and brown life to flourish beyond - and in spite of- violence and suffering.
'What does intersectional feminist leadership look like?
New Entry Flesh, the Law and Black Humanity
A panel of BIPOC critical thinkers and artists, Dr. Nilmini Fernando, Claire G. Coleman and Timmah Ball whose works contain re-imaginings, re-cast of lives ‘in the flesh’ across the past/present/future. Tracking back to the present, they lay bare the socio - legal and political architectures that imprison and kill ideas, bodies and futures.
Presented by: Siteworks
Written and Curated by: Loving Feminist Literature + And Also Presents
Intersectionality and the Virus Episode 5 of the Race in (Australian) Society Series.
This panel examines the intersections of race, gender and socioeconomics which impact the work by Aboriginal healthcare workers; how social norms of whiteness and anti-blackness are playing out during the pandemic; and how intersectionality can help shine a light on gender and sexual violence under social isolation.
Black Feminisms and Buddhism: Love, Power and Justice. Presented by Nilmini Fernando.
We respectfully acknowledge the five language groups of the Kulin Nation as sovereign custodians of the lands on which we work and live. We extend our respects to ancestors and elders past, present and emerging, and to all First Nations people. In the context of the work we do, we express gratitude for our shared connection through place, to the oldest continuing cultures on earth.