Emma Goldman Snowball Award 2023
Zeynep Şentek is a Turkish investigative journalist specialising in human rights and corruption reporting. Her work has appeared in several leading media around the world, including Der Spiegel, NRC, L’Espresso, Le Soir, Vice, Politiken, and has been awarded and shortlisted for various journalism prizes. She has a PhD in political science from Heidelberg University.
She promoted feminist, cross-border, investigative journalism in numerous settings, including at major industry events. In her previous role at openDemocracy, she supported its feminist journalism project and brought journalists together to work on deep dives into anti-gender actors around the world. She also teaches a variety of investigative techniques to early-career journalists in Turkey and Europe, demonstrating how investigative methods can be used for impactful reporting, including to uncover real threats to women and LGBTQ rights.
Zeynep was the managing editor of the investigative news platform The Black Sea for several years when the outlet was part of the pan-European journalism network European Investigative Collaborations (EIC). As the only woman from Eastern Europe on the EIC’s board, she pushed for better gender representation and inclusion. During a five-year period, she oversaw a team that led several prominent journalistic projects. She is currently the project director of the Climate Network at Arena for Journalism in Europe, where she works to improve climate reporting across the continent while advocating for a better gender and geographical balance in the climate-journalism field.
Verity Smith is a gay trans man with a disability who played elite women’s rugby for a number of years and now plays in the UK’s wheelchair rugby Super League. He is a leading voice on trans inclusion in sports in the UK and also supports diversity and inclusion for International Gay Rugby (IGR) and the Federation of Gay Games (FGG). He works for Mermaids as their Youth Engagement Manager.
Believing in education, not discrimination, he is passionate that all young people should have access to sport. Given the transphobia he has experienced while engaging in sports as a trans man, this firm belief in education and his dedication to working with youngsters is testimony to the great person he is. He takes his history and background, and turns that into a positive story to make sure that all children have access to sport. He works closely with sports clubs, national governing bodies, and local clubs to help support and bridge the gaps for trans, nonbinary, and gender-diverse young people, so that it doesn't matter whether you're trans, whether you're disabled, whether you're able-bodied, where you come from: Sport is everyone's game!
Talat Yaqoob is a Scottish campaigner, social researcher, and media commentator who focuses on system and policy change related to women's equality, anti-racism, intersectional analysis of inequalities, and public participation in policy-making. She was educated in Scotland, at Heriot Watt University and the University of Edinburgh.
In order to amplify women of color’s expertise and challenge who has access to influence and media in Scotland, she launched the Pass the Mic project in October 2019. She was the director of Equate Scotland from 2016 to 2020, working on women's equality across the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) sectors. During this time she conducted the first intersectional analysis of women's experiences in STEM in Scotland. She is co-founder of the cross-party campaign group Women 50:50, advocating for fair representation for women in politics. She is also co-chair of the First Minister’s Advisory Council on Women and Girls.
Her most recent research work includes an analysis of racism and people of color’s experiences in labor-market initiatives, and public attitude change methodology on women’s equality. She is an award-winning writer, and in 2018 was awarded the Outstanding Women of Scotland award from the Saltire Society. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2020, and a mural of her was sited in Edinburgh as part of a celebration of women in STEM in 2021.
Mária Takács is a Hungarian documentary director, video journalist, and civil activist who combined her training at the Hungarian Film Academy with a double major in history and geography at Eötvös Loránd University. She worked for Hungarian Television until 2008, and for 20 years has been making videos and documentaries for NGOs, mainly those serving Hungarian LGBTQ and other civil communities. She was an event coordinator and selection committee member of the Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival. Having run a feminist film club since 2008, she is also a founding member of Labrisz Lesbian Association (1999–) and the Budapest Lesbian Film-committee (2000–2004). Her mission is to raise awareness and to support human rights through the language of film.
Her first feature-length documentary, Secret Years, was about lesbians who lived through state socialism. Her 2020 film, Game On – Queer Disruptions in Sport, was awarded three prizes at various festivals, and 2015’s Hot Men Cold Dictatorships was awarded prizes in Romania and Jakarta. The latter documentary (on how Hungarian society and the state have treated gay men and how their personal experiences of social and political oppression have changed since communism) is very timely, given that today’s political system is growing ever similar to the communist dictatorships… She has a profound interest in life stories and believes that showing the life of a real human being is more interesting and valuable than any Oscar-winning fiction film.
Kateryna Zarembo is a Ukrainian policy analyst, university lecturer, writer, and mother of four. She defended her PhD in 2016. Her professional path combines three of her passions: policy analysis, academic research, and literature. As an academic, she has been combining teaching in Ukraine with work as a guest researcher at the Technical University Darmstadt (Germany) and publishing on Ukraine’s civil society and the hierarchy of knowledge production in academia. As a policy analyst, she has been advocating for Ukraine across the globe, from Canada to Italy (she speaks fluent Italian and German).
In 2022, during the full-scale Russian invasion in Ukraine, she finished and published her first non-fiction book, which she had started in 2017, The Rise of Ukraine’s Sun: Stories of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions at the Beginning of the 21st century. Crucial for our current understanding of the differences in Ukraine’s social fabric, the book is devoted to Ukrainian civil society activism in Donbas. She is currently promoting this book with a book tour in various Ukrainian cities.
Kateryna is very vocal about the problems of women with children in academia, and has worked as a coach, speaking about self-care, where to find support, and how to survive forced migration with children. Her chapter on parenthood in times of war and the expectations put on women who had to leave their partners and ended up alone with their children in foreign countries – an autoethnography – will be published soon in an edited volume on the Russian war against Ukraine.
Dounia Bourabain is a gifted Belgian researcher with a Moroccan background, working as an assistant professor at Hasselt University. Although she only recently defended her dissertation, Everyday Sexism and Racism in the Ivory Tower: The Struggles and Resistance of Women Early Career Researchers in Belgium, at the VUB in Brussels, she already has a very strong track record, with several awards to her name.
During her PhD research, she studied everyday racism and sexism in primary education, in clothing stores, and in higher education institutions. Her dissertation then constructed a typology of forms of everyday racism in the academic workplace. In addition, she paid special attention to the specific socialization process of women of color in the academic workplace and the strategies they use to navigate this space. She is also active and visible in European-level communities that fight sexism and racism in academia.
With her expertise in different fields of inequality, one of her passions is in strong sociological theory. She is also passionate about communicating her research to the wider public, giving guest lectures and conference presentations, and engaging in panel discussions on race and gender inequality, discrimination, and racism. She strives to be the professor she wishes she had when she was a student.
Elena Biagini is an activist and independent researcher with a PhD in Gender Studies from Sapienza University in Rome, who also teaches at an Italian public secondary school. She is one of the rare and leading researchers in the field of lesbian feminist studies in Italy. She has played a critical role as a well-known lesbian activist in the making of the Italian LGBTIQ+ movement especially in the more radical, intersectional, and queer branch, in several lesbian groups and Facciamo Breccia, the 2000s NoVAT movement against the hegemony of the Vatican. Facciamo Breccia introduced a critique of homonormativity and homonationalism that defined the actions of mainstream organizations in those years.
She collaborates with independent media and published numerous articles in LGBTIQ+, lesbian, and feminist fields. Her PhD thesis (based on research done outside of her teaching job) and monograph L’emersione imprevista: Il movimento delle lesbiche in Italia negli anni ‘70 e ‘80 (The Unexpected Emergence: The Lesbian Movement in 1970s and 1980s Italy) was published in 2018 as the first scientific and rigorous contribution to the history of lesbian movements in Italy. This book is an indispensable contribution aimed at researchers, students, and activists. In Italy, this political movement and activism would not nearly be as visible without her contributions.