When I Dare To Be Powerful: An International Conference

deadline for submissions: 
February 13, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Nottingham Trent University

Website: https://whenidaretobepowerfulconference.wordpress.com/.

‘…for women within oppressed groups who have contained so many feelings–despair, rage, anguish–who do not speak, as poet Audre Lorde writes, “for fear our words will not be heard nor welcomed,” coming to voice is an act of resistance. Speaking becomes both a way to engage in active self-transformation and a rite of passage where one moves from being object to being subject.’[1]

When I Dare to be Powerful International Conference is an in-person conference that will be held in Nottingham, United Kingdom. It will bring filmmakers, artists, writers and activists together with conceptual thinkers and cultural theorists in order to answer pressing questions relating to voice as an agent of change. Centred on voice as a lens through which we conceive of a social alterity that undermines current ideological dominance, we would like to invite proposals from academics, practitioners and activists interested in exploring coming to voice as an act of resistance. Has adequate progress been made in remedying the lived experience of minoritised people? How will social parity be achieved? Can dissent facilitate a space from which an alternative, socio-cultural narrative can thrive?

We are looking for contributions that explore the conception, portrayal, perception and/or representation of marginalised groups, and that foreground racialised voices and acts of resistance. We welcome a plethora of critical and artistic approaches and proposals from participants from international and geographically diverse areas, those with varied experiences and perspectives on different parts of the world, and across all genders and racial groups.

The conference is free to attend and will take place at Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom on Wednesday 21st June 2023.

A number of additional activities are planned as part of the conference. The details relating to this can be found on our When I Dare to be Powerful website.

Suggestions for proposals include and are not limited to:

  • Re-presenting and representing dissenting voices.
  • Being heard above patriarchal and hegemonic noise.
  • ‘Speaking Nearby’: Filmic or other practices for achieving subjectivity.
  • Marginalised experiences and mechanisms for being heard – how can artists engage directly with individuals with very different experiences?
  • Non-human voices for rethinking relationships to the land (literary and artistic representations, but also interdisciplinary interventions).
  • The role of listening in the process of decolonising thinking and understanding.
  • Solidarity in difference: Women, activism and allyship. 
  • Gendered Matters: Navigating social, political and economic barriers to social equity
  • Exposing injustice: Amplifying silenced voices.
  • Voice as artistic expression.
  • The body and freedom to express our truths.
  • Resisting marginalisation and establishing counter-narratives as legitimate possibilities for change. 
  • Testimonial narratives and epistemic injustice: whose voices are heard? 
  • The right to silence / refusal to speak / silence as dissent.
  • Storytelling and decolonial models for speaking and listening.
  • Life-writing / life-telling as a medium for emancipation and decolonisation, as well as a site of resistance.
  • We also welcome submissions that offer feminist perspectives on voice and marginalised experiences.

Submission guidelines for:

  1. Presentations: A 300-word abstract for a single contribution or a 500-word proposal for a panel, as a Word document. Please include the title of your presentation.
  2. Practice-based research: An abstract of no more than 300 words and a title. Please also inform us of any technical/other requirements you may need, and a link to a short excerpt and full work.

Please email whenidaretobepowerful@gmail.com with:

  • Your abstract/proposal as a Word document (300 words for 15-minute presentations and practice research; 500 words for 20-minute panels).
  • A short biography written in the third person, including your research, institutional affiliation, and pronouns (no more than 100 words).
  • Title your email with the type of submission you are applying to:
    • 15-minute presentation: WIDTBP 2023.
    • 20-minute panel: WIDTBP 2023.
    • 15-minute practice research: WIDTBP 2023.


  • Deadline for all submissions: Monday 13th February 2023.
  • Conference date: Wednesday 21st June 2023.


Email us at whenidaretobepowerful@gmail.com if you have any questions or submit your inquiry on our website’s ‘Contact Us’ page.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.


This conference is made possible by generous funding and support provided by Midlands3/4Cities, The New Art Exchange, the Postcolonial Studies Centre and Bonington Gallery.

[1] bell hooks, talking back thinking feminist, thinking black (London: Routledge 2015), p. 12.