NADIA BEN YOUSSEF /// Spreading the Decolonial Spirit of Bandung from Tunisia to Turtle Island


Léopold met with Nadia Ben Youssef during the second Black and Palestinian Solidarity conference in Naarm (Melbourne) on Indigenous Wurundjeri land, organized by Gary Foley and Suzannah Henty in November 2019. In this conversation, Nadia recounts the history of the 1955 Bandung Conference through the perspective of her grand father, Tunisian revolutionary Salah Ben Youssef who was representing Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco in the fight against French colonialism. The discussion addresses the way the Bandung spirit was broken by France’s neocolonial strategies that manufactured new types of dependencies for former colonies in Africa. They conclude the conversation with considerations of what this Bandung spirit can develop in terms of solidarity in today’s struggles.

Nadia Ben-Youssef is the Advocacy Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She directs all advocacy around issues related to the promotion of civil and human rights. Together with the legal, advocacy, and communication teams, Nadia identifies opportunities for the Center for Constitutional Rights to make strategic cultural and political interventions that shift public narrative and policy on our issues. She has expertise in international human rights fora and mechanisms, and extensive experience developing advocacy strategies to influence U.S. decision-makers. Her work often centers at the intersection of art and advocacy, and she curates exhibits and artistic programming that document key human rights concerns, celebrate social movements, and allow creatives the space to chart the future. Prior to coming to the Center for Constitutional Rights, she co-founded the Adalah Justice Project (AJP), a U.S.-based Palestinian advocacy organization that works to transform American discourse and policy on Palestine/Israel. AJP is an outgrowth of her work with Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel where, from 2010, she led international advocacy efforts from Adalah’s field office in the Naqab (Negev) in southern Israel before coming back to the U.S. to develop an American advocacy strategy. Nadia is a member of the New York State Bar, and holds a B.A. in Sociology from Princeton University, and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. In 2018, Nadia received the National Lawyers Guild Rob Doyle Lawyer Award for commitment to social and political justice.

Black and Palestinian Solidarity conference