The MILIEU international conference “Gender, Disability, and Social Change”

24-26 November 2023, Sofia, Bulgaria

In a remarkable culmination of intellectual discourse and collaboration, the “Gender, Disability, and Social Change” international conference, organized by the MILIEU project team in collaboration with the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, concluded on November 26th in Sofia, Bulgaria. The three-day event proved to be a pivotal moment for advocacy in women’s and gender rights, disability inclusion, and empowerment for marginalized communities.

The conference brought together a diverse range of participants, including esteemed researchers, emerging scientists, activists, artists, policymakers, and interested individuals, fostering a rich and dynamic exchange of ideas. With two distinguished keynote speakers and 37 thought-provoking paper presentations, the program delved into various aspects of social change landscapes, challenging norms, policies, and initiatives. Special acknowledgment was given to keynote speakers Teodor Mladenov (University of Dundee, Scotland) and Luca Gloria Vázquez Rodriguez (University College London, UK) for their enlightening presentations.

Noteworthy discussions covered topics such as arts and expression, pop culture and media, social policies and legislation, best practices and case studies, social movements, grassroots activism, and the challenges of backlash and populism. The conference provided a platform for participants to explore the profound impact of the arts in challenging stereotypes, fostering inclusivity, and addressing the influence of pop culture, film, television, streaming platforms, and social media on perceptions of gender and disability.

The conference’s active participation significantly contributed to the ongoing global conversation about gender, disability, and social change. The insights gained and shared experiences promise to have a lasting impact on future discussions and initiatives in these critical areas.

For those interested in revisiting the conference, notable presentations can be accessed on the MILIEU Youtube Channel, also via the album below. The success of this event underscores the importance of ongoing efforts to drive gender, disability, and social change on both national and global scales.


Lucía Gloria Vázquez Rodríguez - Media Representations of Women in the 21st Century: Objects of desi
Teodor Mladenov - Disability and Social Change
Jacqueline Shaw – Healing Justice as Radical Approach to Feminist Activism
Aleksandra Traykova – Are We Opposing Social Change? Anti-gender Campaigns and Violence Against Wome
Ralitsa Dimitrova – Anti-gender Campaigns and LGBTQI+ Minorities in Bulgaria: Attacks and Resistance
Melisa Campana – Legal, Safe And Free Abortion In The Southern Cone: The End Point Of A Long Femini
Martina Arcadu – Gender, care, and food practices: activism for community resilience
Mila Stancheva - Business Models for Social Causes: Good Practices and Controversies Around Social.
Lorraine Hayman - Gender-Binary Phraseology and Harms in Ireland's Legal Approach to Image-Based Sex
Emna Sfaihi – Precarity and Social Change in Age of Iron by J.M. Coetzee
Hanan JR Alawna - Art as a Channel for Women's Voice: Marjane Satrapi’s Graphic Novel Persepolis as
Mina Kostova – Gender Representation and Censorship in Sex Educational and Children Litera, Bulgaria
Mohammed FKVl Mannisseri – Knowledge and Power: Ableist Discourse in Textbooks
Lyuba Spasova – Discourses of hatred: the protests against the screenings of “Close"
Célia Bouchet and Natacha Guay - Sex and Couple Life of People with Disabities in France
Esther Leyre Marín Álvarez – User Experience of People with Visual Disabilities