Chandra Talpade Mohanty “has produced an extraordinary body of writings on transnational feminism, radically changing the way we think about such categories as ‘third world women’, ‘women of colour’ and ‘globalisation’” says Angela Y. Davis describes the importance of Mohanty’s work. Her article ‘Under Western Eyes - Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses’ changed the discourse on global feminism, as well as development. We talked to her about how we, as an NGO in Europe working in the field of development cooperation, can guarantee for our work against racism, nationalism and sexism not to be paternalistic and colonizing itself. On the question of how “those of us sitting in the Global North, having resources and funds, actually work on an equal relationship”, Mohanty makes a clear point: “Equality is very difficult. But, we can work in partnership - so that, in fact, we are not the imperial feminist in relation to women in the Global South.”
On the occasion of presenting her newest book "Feminist Freedom Warriors: Genealogies, Justice, Politics, and Hope" Chandra T. Mohanty visited Austria for the first time. This piece of work is based on a digital video archive Mohanty initiated together with Linda E. Carty. This project documents conversations about justice, politics and hopes with feminist scholars and activists from different regions of the world across generations. In so-called ‘kitchen table conversations’, women talk about how to come to political consciousness and how to think analytically about state violence, patriarchy, capitalism and racism. The talks address economic, anti-racist, social justice, and anti-capitalist issues. Mohanty points out the relevance of seeing the differential impact of patriarchy, capitalism and racism on women in different communities, from different class, cast, religion, race, etc. She criticizes the often assumed homogeneity in ideas of ‘sisterhood’. The project, which so far collected 32 conversations in the last four years, is one way to make multiple stories and genealogies available to a broad audience and create a teaching tool to learn about the lives of women in the Global South and diaspora communities in the Global North. “We feel an urgency to tell these individual and connected/collective stories—to ‘speak what we live’ for ourselves and the generations that will follow us.” On a side note, Mohanty criticizes that the term ‘freedom’ has been taken over and misinterpreted by neoliberal and right-wing politicians and groups, as it can be observed in many European countries. She urges not to give up the term due to its importance and history for feminist anti-colonial movements.