imuê’s Annual Report – 2019
The full 2019 Annual Report is available in Portuguese at: <http://institutoimue.org/category/publicacoes/>
In October 2018 a group of women anthropologists based on several universities in Brazil decided to launch a new organisation in order to develop activist research in collaboration with leaders, social movements and women’s organisations. In March 2019 they started the legal process for formal registry as a non-profit organisation, which was granted in June 2019.
In its first year, imuê – Instituto Mulheres e Economia [Women and Economy Institute] developed a website and established a presence in social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram). It also structured its work by assigning functions to its 13 founding members within 5 teams: a) management, b) research and projects in partnership, c) publications, d) events and courses, and e) fundraising.
Imuê is run as a horizontal collective of women with experience in ethnographic research, with bonds with women all over Brazil, such as with teachers and educators, grassroots leaders active in their communities, rural and urban women, and in indigenous and quilombolas [maroon] communities. These long-term relationships are central for imuê’s proposal of developing collaborative research with partners who take part in the design and development of projects.
Based on these principles, in July 2019 two imuê researchers promoted workshops for the collaborative construction of our two pilot projects. The first is “The Mapping of Grief in Peixinhos”, in Pernambuco, which is currently in the fundraising phase. The second is “Cachoeiras, women writing the Recôncavo Baiano”, in Bahia, whose aim is to develop a series of books narrating the life stories of black women in a region marked by years of slavery and the economy of sugar cane mills, and whose daily practices reaffirm ancestral knowledge that resists spiritually and epistemologically to the violent relations imposed by colonization.
Besides these two projects, in 2019 imuê also focused on developing publications, promoting events and offering consultancy services.
Imuê was publicly launched in the “I fórum imuê – economy, anthropology and feminism”, on 29th September and 1st October 2019. The event was a partnership between imuê – Institute Women and Economy – and the Laboratory of Ethnographic Experimentations (LE-E) of the Social Anthropology Post-Graduate Program of the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar). The objective was to promote discussions that could conceptually guide collaborative projects to contribute to women’s economic rights. Based on readings in economic anthropology and feminist economics, we discussed how to envision local development projects that are planned and carried out in collaboration with women who are generally considered beneficiaries, but not formulators, of economic development.
In December 2019, we produced our first book narrating the experience and discussion of the I fórum imuê, as well as the concepts and premises of the institute. (Available at our website:<https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QWobdky6IrY_6psDUWeLuwXOj1qkIJuw/view>)
The imuê team also advised two black activists (one in São Paulo and the other in Bahia) on the development of an Individual Development Plan, as part of the requirement for submitting an application for the Acceleration Program of the “Marielle Franco Fund for the Development of Black Female Leaders”, promoted by Baobá – Fund for Racial Equity.
In its first year of activities, imuê was financed entirely through donations from individuals and monthly contributions from its members, and counted on the voluntary work of its researchers. At the moment, there are no sponsors or institutional funding. In this sense, imuê’s priority in 2020 is to develop and execute a fundraising plan that enables the organization to pursue its mission.