Intersectional Transformative Justice

“What Really Makes us Safe?” A Toolkit on Intersectional Transformative Justice beyond Prison and Police: Reading & Discussion

Thursday September 6th, 7pm

Melanie Brazzell & Nadija Samour (editor and co-author) woul like to celebrate the publication of  “What Really Makes us Safe?” toolkit. The toolkit challenges and questions the security promised by the state in cases of sexualised violence and violence within relationships and partnerships, and examines how institutions and techniques such as the police, prison and national borders (re)produce violence instead of ending it.

Melanie and Nadija will present the toolkit and contributions of various Berlin based organisations and activists (including LesMigraS, Kampagne für Opfer rassistischer Polizeigewalt – KOP, Hydra e.V.), examining how supposedly well-meant approaches to combating sexualised violence can go wrong and be instrumentalised in a racist structure. The toolkit points out that we need to understand interpersonal violence in combination with state violence in order to deal with and fight it appropriately. To achieve this, the toolkit proposes an approach of intersectional, transformative justice: It consists of various experiments in community-based handling of interpersonal violence – above all sexualised violence and violence within partnerships – beyond the state, what it offers and its punitive logic.

Everyone is invited to share their creative, sci-fi visions of genuine understandings of security in order to design a future without violence and repression. There will be a small art performance before and during the reading.

Share your ideas with us, what makes us #ReallySafe!


Melanie Brazzell initiated and designed the “What really makes us safe?” research project, which includes interviews with activists and an accompanying website, as well as workshops, university seminars, public events, an exhibition and a toolkit. Inspired by the visionary work of the community accountability and transformative justice movement, she has done community-based anti-violence organizing for over 15 years and co-founded the Transformative Justice Kollektiv in Berlin. Currently, she is exploring participatory action research as a movement building tool as a graduate student in sociology at the university of California, Santa Barbara.

Nadija Samour plots against prisons, sometimes alone at her desk for her dissertation on “incarceration in settler-colonialist contexts”, sometimes as a criminal defense lawyer for prisoners, and sometimes together with comrades, in order to create a world that no longer needs cages. Along the way, she let’s herself be inspired by anticapitalist and anticolonial struggles. She is convinced of at least one thing: no one is free until everyone is free.

Care / Accountability / Conflict / Awareness (CACA) came together in the aftermath of CutieBPoC Fest 2017. We wanted to  address and do something about the oppressive structural dynamics that we were reproducing in this radical, exclusive space, train more people with the tools to deal with conflict resolution, de-escalation and care, because 10 people coming together spontaneously without any prior training could not do an adequate job of maintaining a safer space for 200 participants over several days, and to cultivate a stronger sense of accountability and awareness toward on another within a broader community. We will be holding our first conference in April 2018 and hope to continue to learn with others who are interested in creating accessible grassroots spaces for marginalized communities.