ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Gendered (In)Visibility in Indian Youth Climate Activism


Titzmann Fritzi-Marie - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany


03 – Changing Forms of Gendered Participation in Politico-ideological Movements in South Asia: Histories, Networks, (In)Visibilities


 This paper looks at Indian youth climate activism, particularly the Indian branches of Fridays for Future (FFF), with a focus on gendered discourses and media practices. International media coverage foregrounds gendered images and provides a feminised public image of the global climate movement with female icons, from the iconic Greta Thunberg to other female representatives in different countries, including Disha Ravi as founder of FFF India.

Of particular interest is the interrelation between local and global repertoires, which the movement uses to be both globally connectable and locally specific. In addition to addressing specific local concerns, indigenous and historical models are also cited.

In addition to considering relevant research, this paper draws on analysis of social media discourse on the Instagram and Twitter channels of FFF India and selected regional groups as well as on empirical research. Spaiser et al. (2022) describe the movement as ‘norm entrepreneurs’ capable of changing discourses of climate delay and denial, particularly in that it is a movement of children and young people appealing to intergenerational justice and intersectionality. The media plays a crucial role here in promoting the visibility and mobilisation effectiveness of the movement. To be successful as ‘norm entrepreneurs’, activists need to be particularly skilled in their communication practices.