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Doctoral Candidate (GPTS)Sara Ibanez O'Donnell

Contact Information

Sara Ibanez O'Donnell
Karl Jaspers Centre
Voßstraße 2, Building 4400
Room 400.00.17
69115 Heidelberg

+49 (0) 6221 54 4314


Sara Ibanez-O'Donnell


Sara Ibáñez O’Donnell is a Ph.D. candidate at the Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies. As part of the Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies (GPTS) and supervised by Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius, her work deals with forms of knowledge production in diasporic activism against gendered violence. Sara holds a B.A. in Humanities, during which she spent a semester abroad at Maastricht University, and a second B.A. in Journalism & Media, both from Pompeu Fabra University. She studied a master’s degree in Transcultural Studies also at Heidelberg University. 

Latina/LatinX activism against femi(ni)cide in Berlin: transcultural practices of knowledge-making

There has been an undisputable rise over the last decade of activism engaged with femi(ni)cide in Europe. This is particularly the case in Berlin, a key transnational hub for activists, where the word femicide was barely used only a decade ago. The word Feminizide itself, which now in German co-exists with Femizide, is a transculturation of the Spanish term feminicidio, coined by the Mexican scholar Marcela Lagarde as a variation of South African scholar Diana E. Russell’s concept femicide. Activist collectives and practices entangled in movements and mediated discourses rooted in Mexico and Latin America are becoming more visible in Berlin’s urban and virtual spaces, alongside those of other diasporas. Chants-turned-straplines and networked hashtags against femi(ni)cide such as Ni Una Mas, Ni Una Menos and Vivas Nos Queremos have been translated into Keine Mehr, Nicht Eine Weniger and Wir Wollen Uns Lebend

This PhD project connects various forms of Latina/X activist practices against gender-based violence operating within Berlin’s transnational representational framework. It traces collective forms of performative activism linked to Frauentag on the 8th of March (8M) and the Day Against Violence Against Women on the 25th November (25N). Using ethnographic methods, it seeks to situate and trace at various scales multimodal practices to better understand Latina/X activism’s agency in co-producing knowledge around femi(ni)cide. Key questions of this research work include: How is Latina/X activism against gender-based violence performing within Berlin’s transnational activist framework? What agents are shaping transcultural knowledge-making on femi(ni)cide and where does diasporic agency lie? Which epistemologies are at play through these forms of mediated knowledge, place and memory-making?


2017 – 2022  Events Programme Manager (part time / remote) at Centre for Progressive Policy
2016 – 2017  Public Events Programmer at RSA (Royal Society of Arts), London
2014 – 2016  Events Producer, Centre for London, London
2012  Culture officer at Greater London Authority (City Hall), London
2011  Communications and Project Lead at Hackney WickED Festival (London) and Digital
2010  Communications Coordinator at Frequency Digital Culture Festival (Lincoln)
2009  Cultural communications for: Antic Teatre and Ebent (Barcelona) 


2024  ‘The New Mestizas. Diasporic Feminist Activism as Borderlands’, Helix Journal (forthcoming)
2023  ‘Sor Juanas Collective: Intervention on Jorge Marin’s Alas de Mexico (Wings of Mexico)’. Miradas - Journal for the Arts and Culture of the Américas and the Iberian Peninsula, June, 269-277 Seiten
2020  Feminist Urbanisms in Barcelona' 
2020  Mapping of ‘AMBOS Project interventions on the US/Mexico Border'
2019  ‘Pushing Cultural Borderlines’

Conference Papers, Talks and Workshops

2022  Jornadas Internacionales Pensar desde el cruce y las autohistorias. 35º Aniversario de Borderlands / La Frontera. The New Mestiza de Gloria Anzaldua. Paper: Las new mestizas. Conciencias feministas diaspóricas como borderlands
2022  Conversatorio Feminista. Empoderalmiento del cuidado, activismo y arte. Paper: Activismos feministas diaspóricos del 8 y 9M en Berlin y Londres. Subjetividades transfronterizas en movimiento
2022  UDK Guest Lecture at College of Architecture, Media and Design – Institute of Theory of Design and Gender: Talk: Juarez’s Maquilas, Ni Una Mas and the Female Body 
2021  Coloquio Universidad de Alcala (UAH). Pensar el Presente desde y con el sur. Paper: Poscolonialidad y activismos feministas dispóricos. Subjetividades transfronterizas en movimiento
2021  LASA 2021 Congress: ‘Producciones culturales en movimiento: experiencia fronteriza, tránsito, desplazamiento y subjetividad más allá de Covid-19’ Paper: Walk-along with Mexican women in Berlin. Displacing my own transcultural research paradigms
2021  Segundo Coloquio De Estudios Feministas de Posgrado, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Unidad Xochimilco. Paper: Experiencias diasporicas del 8 y 9M 2020
2019  Transcultural Connections: Migration in Asia, Europe and the Americas, Heidelberg University
2018  Moderator ar Transcultural Sexualities Symposium with Prof Barbara Mitler & Prof Paola Zamperini, Transcultural Studies Department, Heidelberg University
2018  Presenter at Nordic Summer University – Summer Symposium – Appearances of the Political Circle. Paper: ‘Officialist vs other notions of culture in Hackney Wick during London’s Jubilimpics in Hackey Wick 
2016  Workshop facilitator at Nordic Summer University – Winter Symposium 'Retracing the home'
2015  Speaker and workshop leader at Nordic Summer University – Summer Symposium, Home-based DIY artistic practices
2012  Workshop facilitator at [neighbourHOOD] exploring place as beyond land and structures to encompass the daily actions and life that embody and create community.