60 seconds with Bibiana Huggins

Bibiana Huggins is a Training Officer at MCWH

What are you enjoying doing at the moment?  
I am really enjoying the beach at the moment. We moved to St Kilda just before the lockdown and it was a really tranquil and calming place. Now it is undergoing a type of awakening; the combination of summer approaching and lockdown ending has brought all kinds of beach sports, happy families, pets, and happy vibes in general to the area! My senses are also undergoing an re-awakening post lockdown, and so many sights, sounds, and smells seem new!

Can you describe a time where you felt discriminated against as a woman or as someone with an immigrant and refugee background? 
Quite recently, my partner and I had to get something certified for his partner visa application. The person we approached for certification immediately turned to myself and asked what I needed certified, assuming that I (rather than my French partner) needed the certification. I took this as a good reminder that discrimination is often subtle (overt discrimination is easily and often condemned). These regular small subtle acts of discrimination can be incredibly stifling for some – yet they often go unaccounted for. I have a couple of friends from northern West Africa who described these constant small acts of discrimination as feeling like they couldn’t breathe, which is quite powerful.

If you could invite any woman, (dead or living) to dinner, who would it be and why?
It would be a tough choice between all the staff at MCWH and Ilana Gershon. MCWH has some of the most intelligent, experienced, conscientious, and thought provoking women I have ever worked with and a round table with these women would be a powerhouse! Ilana Gershon is an Anthropologist and long standing academic crush of mine whose work on employment and neoliberal subjectivity always gets me thinking. I would probably be too scared to talk to her though!!

What could you never be without?  
Probably chocolate and daily news updates. Lockdown for better or worse has allowed me to indulge in both quite well.

Finish this sentence: “We need feminism because….”  
There are still a great number of people out there who don’t know why we need feminism, and who still don’t think we need feminism.

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