The Solidarity Encounter
Women, Activism, and Creating Non-Colonizing Relations
On the heels of recent revelations of past and ongoing injustices, the ongoing work of reconciliation and solidarity by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people has become even more urgent. But it is a complex endeavour.
Grounded in a unique blend of scholarship, activist interviews, and autoethnography, The Solidarity Encounter breaks the theory/practice divide by taking readers into the fraught terrain of solidarity organizing in settler colonial North America. Political solidarity across difference is among the most crucial and challenging concerns of our time. Multi-issue coalitions such as Idle No More, #NoDAPL, MMIWG2SQ, Black Lives Matter, and Fridays for Future all depend on the collaboration of diverse communities and, for white women especially, on avoiding harmful detours into historically derived helping behaviours. Carol Lynne D’Arcangelis grapples with this key problem: colonizing behaviours that result when white women’s self-interests take centre stage as they participate in activist work with Indigenous women and groups.
The Solidarity Encounter concludes by offering a constructive framework for developing non-colonizing solidarity that can be applied in any context of unequal power. This astute exposé provides an invaluable set of strategies for resisting the "solidarity impulse" and respecting boundaries between self and other.
This book is for all community activists interested in working across social, economic, and political divides for a common cause. Scholars and students of women’s and gender studies, Indigenous studies, social movements, and critical race studies will also find this an indispensable work.
- 2023, Shortlisted - Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing
Carol Lynne D’Arcangelis has produced a timely and important book that engages meaningfully with relevant scholarship around feminist anti‐colonial and Indigenous resurgence efforts. Students, scholars, and activists alike will find lessons here.
The Solidarity Encounter provides an opportunity to engage in studied dialogue and work in solidarity with communities across unequal power relations.
Carol Lynne D’Arcangelis is an associate professor of gender studies at Memorial University, where she received a 2019 Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Since 2005, she has been a white settler member of No More Silence, a Toronto-based grassroots network dedicated to raising awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. She has published on Indigenous–non-Indigenous solidarity, white settler feminism, and decolonial feminism in journals that include Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, Atlantis: A Women's Studies Journal, Canadian Woman Studies, and the German journal Peripherie.
1 White Women, Proximity and Settler/Liberal Self-Making
2 Transgressing Cherished Spaces: Indigenous Women on the “Impulse to Solidarity”
3 Risky Romanticization: Cultural Difference, National Belonging and Indigenous Resistance
4 Making Exceptions as the Rule: “Good/White Settler Allies” and the Politics of Declaration
5 Towards Non-Colonizing Solidarity
Conclusion: The Solidarity Encounter in Relief
Notes; References; Index
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