She found a “solution” with the organizers.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo at first wanted to stop the Nyansapo Fest from occurring because she found it discriminating since it did not allow white people.
But on Monday Hidalgo said she found a “clear solution” with the organizers, letting it happen even though most of the sessions are limited to those of color.
From France 24:
The Nyansapo festival has divided its events into four categories– those open exclusively to black women (which account for 80% of activities), those open to both black women and black men, those open to women of colour and those open to everyone. The majority of events are reserved for black female participants.
The organisers say it is important to restrict access to certain sessions so that black women can engage in open, honest conversations about their unique struggles, without judgement from others.
The itinerary received a lot of criticism from far-right and anti-racism groups in France. Hidalgo joined the outrage on Sunday. From The Associated Press:
Anti-racism associations and far-right politicians in France both had criticized the event over the weekend for scheduling workshops limited to a single gender and race.
France defines itself as a country united under one common national identity, with laws against racial discrimination and to promote secularism to safeguard an ideal that began with the French Revolution.
On Sunday, Hidalgo had said she would call on authorities to prohibit the cultural festival and might call for the prosecution of its organizers on grounds of discrimination.
“I firmly condemn the organization of this event in Paris (that’s) ‘forbidden to white people,’” Hidalgo had written.
So what happened? Hidalgo met with the organizers, who did not change anything about the festival. The AP continues:
In a new series of tweets on the topic, Hidalgo said her “firm” discussion with organizers had yielded a satisfactory clarification: the parts of the festival held on property would be open to everyone and “non-mixed workshops will be held elsewhere, in a strictly private setting.”
MWASI, the Afro-feminist collective sponsoring the three-day event, responded to the mayor’s latest comments by saying it hadn’t changed the festival program “an inch.”
“That’s what was planned from the beginning,” the collective said of how the public and private spaces would be assigned.
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