Formations of Feminist Strike: Connecting Diverse Practices, Contexts, and Geographies


  • Senka Neuman Stanivukovic University of Groningen
  • Ksenia Robbe University of Groningen
  • Kylie Thomas NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies & University College Cork


feminist strike, reproductive labour, postsocialist, postcolonial, post-apartheid, Marikana, Uljanik, strike a rock


This introduction to the special issue on Feminist Strike takes up the question of what remains marginalized and overlooked within dominant discourses on contemporary feminist protests. Drawing on experiences of and approaches to feminist refusal that involve questions of labour, we propose the ways in which conceptualizations of feminist strike can be employed as a lens to build a conversation between different practices, scales, and geographies, particularly across postcolonial and postsocialist contexts. Through a reading of Aliki Saragas’s film Strike a Rock (2017) about the women living around the Marikana miners’ settlement in the aftermath of a major strike, we explore how notions of feminist strike can be expanded by situating Black women’s struggles in South Africa within a long tradition of women’s resistance and showing how political resistance is bound to questions of reproductive work. To understand the intersection of postsocialist, post-conflict, and (pre-)Europeanization transformations, we consider the case of a large-scale strike and public demonstrations against the bankruptcy of the Croatian shipyard Uljanik that took place in 2018 and 2019. Our perspectives on the Marikana and the Uljanik strikes show how women in both places practise a politics of refusal and resistance against ruination, violence, and defeat. In the last section, we summarize the contents of the articles that comprise the special issue.


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Author Biographies

Senka Neuman Stanivukovic, University of Groningen

Senka Neuman Stanivukovic studies links between Europeanization and production of marginality and peripherality in the contexts of citizenship and migration, labour and territoriality. She is based at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Ksenia Robbe, University of Groningen

Ksenia Robbe’s research engages with postcolonial and postsocialist transitions and develops critical perspectives on these processes through the studies of memory, time, and feminist practices in East European and Southern African literature, film and visual art. She is a senior lecturer at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Kylie Thomas, NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies & University College Cork

Kylie Thomas writes about photography, violence, and history; LGBTQI+, feminist and anti-racist activism; and about South African politics and society during and after apartheid. She is a senior lecturer at University College Cork, Ireland, and a senior researcher at NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Netherlands.


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Bonfiglioli, Chiara. 2020. "Post-socialist Deindustrialisation and its Gendered Structure of Feeling: the Devaluation of Women’s Work in the Croatian Garment Industry." Labor History 61.1: 36–47.

Bonfiglioli, Chiara, and Kristen Ghodsee. 2020. "Vanishing act: Global Socialist Feminism as the ‘Missing Other’of Transnational Feminism–a Response to Tlostanova, Thapar-Björkert and Koobak (2019)." Feminist Review 126.1: 168–72.

Brunnbauer, Ulf, and Andrew Hodges. 2019. "The Long Hand of Workers’ Ownership: Performing Transformation in the Uljanik Shipyard in Yugoslavia/Croatia, 1970–2018." International Journal of Maritime History 31.4: 860–78.

Çağatay, Selin, et al. 2022 "Solidarities Across: Borders, Belongings, Movements." In: Feminist and LGBTI+ Activism across Russia, Scandinavia and Turkey: Transnationalizing Spaces of Resistance. Springer Nature Online: 143–90.

Draper, Susana, and Liz Mason-Deese. 2018. "Strike as Process: Building the Poetics of a New Feminism." South Atlantic Quarterly 117.3: 682–91.

Filigrana, Pastora. 2020. "Anti-racist Feminism or Barbarism: Moroccan Women Seasonal Strawberry Workers." South Atlantic Quarterly 119.3: 629–36.

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Matošević, Andrea. 2019. "A Lot of Sweat, a Little Bit of Fun, and not Entirely “Hard Men”: Worker’s Masculinity in the Uljanik Shipyard.” In: Montgomery, David (ed.) Everyday Life in the Balkans. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. 178–87.

Mayerchyk, Maria, and Olga Plakhotnik. 2020. "Between time of nation and feminist time: genealogies of feminist protest in Ukraine." In: Bühler-Dietrich, Annette (ed.) Feminist Circulations between East and West/Feministische Zirkulationen zwischen Ost und West: Berlin, DE: Franke und Timme. 47–70.

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Meade, Rosie R., Kiely, Elizabeth, and O’Donovan, Órla. 2023. “‘Cruel Optimism’ in the Universities: A Discursive-Deconstructive Reading of Promising Promotional Projects of Gender Equality.” Gender, Work & Organization 30(5): 1709–24.

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