Re-Shaping the Boundaries of Feminism: The Case of #femminismoislamico on Instagram


Although the Italian public discourse is characterized by an underlying Islamophobia and gendered processes of racialization and discrimination, for which the agency of women of Muslim culture is often denied, Italy hosts a growing and increasingly visible feminist movement that adopts intersectionality as practice and method. Particularly relevant for contemporary feminisms appears to be the digital environment, which is at the same time a space for networking and a site of protests and collective action. In this context the paper explores whether an online discourse on feminism and Islam exists, and how it unfolds on social media. In this contribution we focus on the discourse about #femminismoislamico in the digital sphere by analyzing how Instagram users engage with the related hashtags, in the case study of Italy between 2017 and 2021. Data are organized in three categories: information, inspiration & memes, call for change. The discourse developing around the analyzed hashtags contributes to re-shape the boundaries of both the feminist discourse and the place of Islamic feminism in online and offline feminist public space. Furthermore the adoption of the hashtags related to Islamic feminism illustrates the appropriation, reframing and composite reassembling of individual and collective intersectional identities.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v16i2p339

Keywords: Digital media; Feminisms; Islamic feminism; Instagram; Intersectionality; Religion


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