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Black Lives Matter in Europe: A Transnational Dialogue leading the Future of Anti-Racist Movements?



Senior Fellow Folasade Ajayi co-wrote a research piece on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in Europe. The piece, titled “Transnational Diffusion, Local Translation and Resonance of Anti-Racist Protest in Germany, Italy, Denmark and Poland,” unfolds the unique diffusion of BLM protests across different countries in Europe.

Following the violent death of George Floyd in May of 2020, mass mobilization quickly spread not only in the United States but also across Europe. In cities like Berlin, Warsaw, Rome, and Copenhagen, people joined together to protest against racism and police violence.

Despite clear solidarity towards the BLM movement in the United States, the protests in Europe differed in nature across the continent. As discovered in the study, the basics of the protests are ‘translated’ into specific local contexts. In Germany, this manifested through institutional racism and police brutality. While in Italy and Denmark, the movement was framed towards the fate of migrants and refugees.

Varying from a range of sociopolitical legacies, the BLM protests are acting as a catalyst for the creation of new organizations and alliances within global anti-racist movements. Indeed, the birth of BLM has strengthened awareness, pushing issues of racism and political brutality at the heart of public debates.

You can read the full research note here. For a condensed version of the piece, you can also find a summarized article by Mattias Fejes here (in German).