by Epifania Akosua Amoo-Adare
“I try to make myself small so they leave me alone,
Sometimes, I get depressed and I stay at home.
Some say that we’re making too big of a deal.
But come live a day as a woman,
You’ll see if we’re making it up or if it’s real.”
—Toute Fine & Samia Manal
Continue reading “The Follies of African Nationalism”
by Sayan Dey
A few years ago I was travelling by a sleeper class train from Kolkata to New Delhi. As the train was about to reach the final destination, one of the pantry car serviceman approached me for a tip. I was happy to give him a reasonable amount of money for his tireless services that he extended to me during the entire journey, but I was also curious to know that in spite of having a fixed salary why do they ask for a tip from the passengers? When did this cultural practice evolve in India? These questions pushed me towards a galactic socio-historical paradigm that unfurls the colonial roots of this practice.
Continue reading “‘Tipping’ in contemporary India: A colonial story”
by Tomáš Profant
International relations are power relations. This banal argument is clearly visible in the current configuration of the North-South relation. One of the most apparent ways power operates is through the bond of gift. The powerful nations give and the not so powerful receive the so called development assistance. Both are represented as partners in development cooperation.
Continue reading “A Postcolonial Look On ‘New’ Donors”
By Marketta Vuola and Aina Brias Guinart
“How do we lift the words on a page that describe how we ought to conduct ourselves, to connect more directly with the intention of those ethical principles and practices in concrete, meaningful ways?”. Bannister (2018)
As PhD students in the early phase of our academic careers we are struggling to address this type of questions in our research projects. Seeking guidance we are reading formal codes of ethics such as the Code of Ethics of the International Society of Ethnobiology. Much has been written on this area particularly on the application of the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (e.g. Medinaceli 2018). Even so, ethical research is much more than a set of rules and codes, and it not restricted to specific practices such as consent forms (Wilmé, at al., 2016). We believe that, if we aim to do research that truly breaks the colonial power dynamics, we need to do it from the earliest steps of the research process. We should carefully consider the power structures that we are producing and reproducing in the decisions we make about our approach, research questions and methods.
Continue reading “Dealing with discomfort: how to move from theory to action in research ethics?”
by Sayan Dey
As the physically visible empires of colonialism receded, the metaphysical, invisible empires of coloniality gradually came to the forefront and ideally replaced their predecessors. With the ‘official’ end of colonialism by the end of 20th century, across the Global South and Far East, the colonial subjects (mis)interpreted it as the ultimate end of Euro-centric (or widely West-centric) dominations and the appropriate moment for recuperating their degenerated systems of traditional knowledge production.
Continue reading “Voicing Decoloniality”
by Rachel Huber
In postcolonial historical research conducted from a Eurocentric perspective, a contradiction has prevailed so far: the majority of research projects are conducted in colonial language and follow partial colonial logic.
Continue reading “[How Do We “Know” The World Series] The Problem of Postcolonial Historical Research within Colonial Epistemologies and Methodologies”
by Budd L Hall
This is the name of a ‘headphone verbatim show’ capturing campus conversations at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. It will be the third interaction with discourses of decolonisation and epistemic justice that I will have within two weeks. The first interaction was with Florence Piron, a scholar of epistemic justice at Laval University. I spent three days with her and her colleagues in Quebec City, Quebec. She shared with me the special issue of the journal Sociologie et Societes on epistemic injustice edited by Baptise Godrie and Marie Dos Santos of the University of Montreal. In that journal she shares an article, Haitian Meditation where she recounts a visit to Haiti to teach about epistemic justice (2017). She reminds us of the words of Frantz Fanon written in 1992, speaking about the dominance of European thought in the colonial world, “my friends, the European game is definitely over…if we want to see humanity advance, for Africa and for the world, we need to invent and discover a new way of thinking”.
Continue reading “Decolonization: not just a buzzword…”
by Grace Ese-osa Idahosa
This short piece addresses the issue of the limiting role of identity and positionality on the extent of individuals’ contribution to the decolonisation process in institutions. Focusing on universities in South Africa (SA), it interrogates the role of identity and social positions in the decolonisation and knowledge production process. It asks to what extent factors like race, class, gender and sexuality affect an individual’s commitment and contributions to the decolonisation process?
Continue reading “[How Do We Know the World Series] What are the limits of identity and positionality in the decolonisation debate?”
by Vanessa Bradbury
Aotearoa, the long white cloud. A vast country secluded by ocean; a depth of ecological beauty with rolling hills of green, empowering mountains that cut through soft white clouds; rivers, lakes and oceans that flow with the crisp, clean air; sunsets that radiate the surroundings with a peachy gentleness; long roads and vast land; a silence that fills the void with reflection.
Continue reading “[How Do We “Know” the World Series] Looking Back to Walk Forward: Decolonisation as Self-Determination”
by Lata Narayanaswamy and Julia Schöneberg
In our one-day workshop we aimed to overcome academic “silos” and connect scholars from diverse fields in the social and natural sciences. Surprisingly, or probably not so, we quickly realized that struggles, discomforts and contestations were very similar among us regardless of whether our discipline is Peace Studies, Agro-Forestry, History, International Relations, Development or Political Studies or Educational Sciences. The true challenge for our workshop was to reflect not only on how we “know” the world, but also why this question matters and what are the implications for us as teachers, researchers and practitioners, committed to challenging entrenched power imbalances or fighting for social justice.
Continue reading “[How Do We “Know” the World Series] Why does the question matter? – Reflections from the Workshop”