Black Women in Parliament and on Social Media: Link visibility as an Intersectional and Solidarity-Building Tool

Medrado, A., Souza, R. and Paulla, M. 2021. Black Women in Parliament and on Social Media: Link visibility as an Intersectional and Solidarity-Building Tool. Global Perspectives. 2 (1) 24503. https://doi.org/10.1525/gp.2021.24503

TitleBlack Women in Parliament and on Social Media: Link visibility as an Intersectional and Solidarity-Building Tool
TypeJournal article
AuthorsMedrado, A., Souza, R. and Paulla, M.
Abstract

This article tackles the multiple facets of visibility, ranging from invisibility, a lack of recognition in society, to hypervisibility, when bodies are hyper exposed for commodification or criminalisation purposes. We analyse the specific implications of achieving media visibility for one Black Brazilian woman in politics—Renata Souza –a Rio de Janeiro State Legislator. Souza’s campaign and mandate have drawn inspiration from the legacy of Marielle Franco, a Black lesbian favela-born city councilor and human rights advocate who was murdered in March 2018. Our theoretical framework consists of three strands of research: visibility studies, intersectional feminism, and intersectional work on technologies and surveillance. We draw from autoethnographic approaches with the use of fieldnotes, audio diaries, and interviews with members of Souza’s staff. We complement these with digital ethnographic observations of Souza’s and her allies’ social media profiles. We ask: If visibility is a goal for groups who are marginalised and silenced, what happens when they do achieve it? When does visibility help to protect black women? And when does visibility bring even greater vulnerability? In this article, we propose and define the concept of “link-visibility” as a process led by women of colour who need a high degree of social media publicness but are affected disproportionally from visibility-induced high levels of vulnerability. We argue that link-visibility represents an intersectional feminist approach as well as a tool for solidarity building, and that both— intersectionality and link-visibility—help bind oppressed realities in Brazil and elsewhere. Finally, we interrogate what can be done to protect women of colour online, stopping the violence, threats, and fear.

KeywordsBlack women in politics
link-visibility
racism
intersectionality
autoethnography
Article number24503
JournalGlobal Perspectives
Journal citation2 (1)
ISSN2575-7350
Year2021
PublisherUniversity of California Press
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1525/gp.2021.24503
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1525/gp.2021.24503
Publication dates
Published08 Jun 2021
Supplemental file
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)

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