When Akilah Silke Guüc moved from Berlin to Heidelberg, she noticed the lack of a diverse queer and feminist community. Although there was a feminist movement in Heidelberg, it lacked the queer and non-white perspectives. Seeing that this important space was lacking, Akilah started a reading circle to give Black feminists the opportunity to come together to discuss feminist issues from an intersectional perspective.
Akilah had already had an interest in grassroots organization against racist structures when she created this reading group. Two years ago, she co-translated a text by Angela Davis for a Black feminist anthology published in Germany. That project refined her engagement for Black feminist politics.
In August and September 2019, Akilah developed her idea and researched the feasibility of the reading circle by conducting a cost-benefit analysis. When she determined that this was not only an important but also a viable project, she focused on the actual logistics. The project moved out of the conceptual phase in December 2019 when she made an overview of all of the tasks, roles, and potential partners along with a detailed project schedule. From January to March 2020, Akilah brought the project to reality by introducing it to more people in the space. This was also when she began meetings with her HIA mentor. In March and April 2020, she assigned tasks to her partners and created a survey to better understand the needs of the community and potential participants. In May, a proposal was submitted to the student parliament and outreach began. The first meeting took place on July 21st, and since then, this book club has met on the 3rd Tuesday of every month.
Something that really touched her is the evolvement from just an idea in her mind to a real physical community event that people are looking forward to take place every month.
Akilah hopes to raise more awareness about the availability of this space through sharing flyers, both on and offline. In a span of months, she was able to create an intersectional space for open discussion. She hopes that this project can become available for more people living in Heidelberg and surrounding areas.