We are happy to announce the online presence of Push*Back*Lash
Project News and Updates
Issue 1
April, 2023

Hello world!


We are happy to announce the online presence of the Horizon Europe EC-funded research project Push*Back*Lash. This quarterly newsletter will give you the opportunity to learn more about researchers and practitioners working to counteract anti-gender equality and anti-democratic discourses. You will also receive quarterly project updates and information about interesting news and events related to the study of democracy, gender, and politics.



Project Updates

The team has been busy developing the project’s conceptual framework by reviewing, synthesizing, and creatively blending feminist contributions to the democratic political theory, paying special attention to the contemporary feminist frameworks (cyberfeminism, ecofeminism, care ethics) and including voices outside of the Anglo-American cannon.

Additionally, the team identified relevant actors for Twitter analysis, began document collection to analyze political agendas, started identification of the relevant survey data and assessment of available measures of gender role attitudes, democratic attitudes, tolerance, and inclusion.

Two codebooks were developed for coding the data that will be extracted from Twitter and political documents.

Desk research began on the strategies used by civil society organizations to counteract attacks on gender equality and women’s rights. 

Upcoming Events

Dr. Monika Kovács will participate on a panel "Challenges and opportunities for gender researchers" during a preconference of the European Association of Social Psychology’s (EASP) General Meeting in Krakow, Poland, on the 30th of June, 2023.


PLUS team submitted a panel proposal titled “Anti-gender Backlash in Times of Crises” for presentation at the World Association for Public Opinion (WAPOR) 2023 annual meeting, which will take place on 19-22 of September in Salzburg, Austria.



Reflections and Spotlight

This quarter we would like you to meet the Theater of the Oppressed Vienna (TdU Wien) and Joschka Köck. TdU Wien leads the work in working package nine that will explore how we can use theater to counteract anti-democratic tendencies and attacks on gender equality and women’s rights.


As we began planning the work, our international and multidisciplinary team could not help but reflected on the meaning of activism in different institutional and political contexts. Perhaps, the biggest revelation that we had was the idea that one’s ability to engage in activism in Europe remained a privilege rather than a given. What is more, one cannot underestimate the importance of intersectional approach when analyzing activism during the times of democratic backsliding and attacks on gender equality as the meaning and available repertoire of activist tools depend not only on one’s positionality in terms of gender, class or country, but also on one’s organizational membership (university or civil society organization). At the same time, as spaces for activism narrow, new creative forms of activism emerge. TdU Wien is one of them. 


TdU Wien is a (queer-) feminist organization that works with marginalized groups (e.g., LGBTIQA*, precarious workers), activists, students, and youth to heal, empower, and transform social reality, and achieve gender and social justice. They also offer trainings to practitioners who work with the marginalized groups on how to use the theater of the oppressed method. The focal topics of TdU Wien are feminisms, climate justice, and precarity. 


To learn more about TdU’s work, visit them on www.tdu-wien.at, www.facebook.com/TO.Vienna, www.instagram.com/tdu_wien/ or Telegram Channel www.t.me/TdUWien.


To learn more about TdU as a method, you can consult the following books and studies:


Ahmadov, Anar K. 2019. “Breaking the Fourth Wall in Political Studies: Exploring Politics through Interactive Theatre.” European Political Science 18(3): 554–73.


Boal, Augusto. 2002. Games for Actors and Non-Actors. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge.


Boal, Augusto. 2008. Theatre of the Oppressed. New edition. London: Pluto Press.


Dahal, Pranab, Sunil Kumar Joshi, and Katarina Swahnberg. 2022. “Does Forum Theater Help Reduce Gender Inequalities and Violence? Findings From Nepal.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 37(13–14): NP12086–110.


Fritz, Birgit. 2013. InExActArt: The Autopoietic Theatre of Augusto Boal ; a Handbook of Theatre of the Oppressed Practice. Stuttgart: Ibidem-Verl.


Köck, Joschka (2020) "Global TO Movement(s) and its Discontents," Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed Journal: Vol. 5, Article 3. 
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/ptoj/vol5/iss1/3

Mills, Sandra. 2009. “Theatre for Transformation and Empowerment: A Case Study of Jana Sanskriti Theatre of the Oppressed.” Development in Practice 19(4–5): 550–59.

Oliviera, Sales Catarina, Alcides A. Monteiro, and Silvia Pinto Ferreira. 2019. “Gender Consciousness through Applied Theatre.” European journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults 10(1): 77–92.


Santos, Barbara. 2019. Theatre of the Oppressed, Roots and Wings: A Theory of the Praxis.



The Push*Back*Lash Team

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 101061687.

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor European Research Executive Agency can be held responsible for them.

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