The final program for the World Social Forum on Migrations (WSFM) in Johannesburg has been released. Besides offering a multitude of workshops, plenary sessions etc. the program aims to “build bridges” in several regards. One of those bridges links to the history of the host country and its struggle against apartheid. Since December 5, the first day of the WSFM, also marks the first anniversary of the passing of Nelson Mandela, tribute will be paid by a Street parade through Braamfontein and Hillbrow to celebrate the legacy of the “Father of the Rainbow Nation”. Besides looking back, the organizers want to build bridges to the struggle of other communities, in particular,
the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) community. African LGBTI migrants and refugees face particular discrimination and oppression. The start of the WSFM also coincides with Mzansi Pride Week, describing itself as “the BIGGEST LGBTI Festival in Africa”. The festival ends on December 6 at Constitution Hill and thus shares the location with the WSFM.
Among the opening speakers on December 5 will be Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and Zolani Mkiva, Poet of Africa.
The plenary sessions will be grouped along the four pillars of the conference:
- Pillar 1: Asylum Seekers Refugees & Forced Migration
- Pillar 2: Migration, Social Cohesion and Integration
- Pillar 3: Migration, Globalisation and Crises: Trends and Alternatives
- Pillar 4: Human Rights, Citizenship
Among the speakers will be representatives of civil society, ILO, former ministers as well as national and international researchers, the latter including Oliver Bakewell (Oxford) and Raúl Delgado Wise (Mexico).
You can find the full program here, the list of the workshops and side events is still to be released.