The Nyansapo Festival, a celebration of black womanhood, was the center of ire from Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo who publicly condemned the upcoming peaceful event for its exclusivity to black women.
The Washington Post reports Hidalgo took the Trump route and hopped on social media to make a statement about MWASI, an afro-feminist collective and their three day event scheduled to take place in July. In a series of tweets, Hidalgo said she had the right “to prosecute the organizers for discrimination,” because roughly four-fifths of the event would cater to black and mixed women. “I firmly condemn the organization of this event in Paris (that’s) ‘forbidden to white people,’” Hidalgo tweeted.
Founded in 2014, MWASI seeks to question the hierarchies of race, class, gender, religion and sexuality. Their first annual festival would take their journey to the next level as they looked into “strategies to end racial, patriarchal, colonial and capitalist violence.” The festival would act as a conference and host four different events with one labeled as a formal invitation for everyone.
What’s struck no one as a surprise were the groups that helped build controversy around The Nyansapo Festival. Multiple news outlets have reported that groups like National Front and other far-right groups brewed a false narration of the event to shake up conversation. MWASI questioned the hypocrisy given that (white) women-only groups aren’t questioned by Hidalgo nor the masses. They were also “saddened” to see anti-racist associations “let themselves be manipulated” by the reports.
After Hidalgo’s tweets were questioned, she stated she came to an agreement with the group that “non-mixed workshops will be held elsewhere, in a strictly private setting.” The Nyansapo Festival responded by informing the the public that their layout for the event didn’t change “an inch.”
Find out more about The Nyansapo Festival here.