by Giti Chandra
The work of violence is to undo what we understand as humanity and civilisation; to counter the need for, and power of, innocence that is foundational to both. It should work, also, as a reminder that requiring that a human being be ‘innocent’ in order not to be a legitimate target of violence is, in and of itself, a fundamentally uncivilised way to be. In the current calamity, over two-thirds of Palestinians killed have been women and children, and the image of the murdered child has dominated much of the conversation around the crisis. Ideas of innocence and violence are intimately connected, both in our sometimes unacknowledged desire for civilisational innocence, as well as when the image of murdered innocence is weaponised in order to silence, and shut down other narratives. Emotional numbness and intellectual paralysis in the face of such images only serves the further propagation of both physical and discursive violence. How, then, should we wield the powerful responses the murdered child evokes in order to collectively think our way out of the vicious circle that conversations about Palestine have become?
Continue reading “Innocence and Violence: Why it is so hard to talk about Palestine?”
by Adriana Cancar
Recently I was part of a quite special Summer School and when I look back at it, I especially remember the feeling of trust – trusting each other to listen, to understand as far as possible, to comprehend, to speak, to respond, to feel with each other, to sit in silence together.
Broadly framed by concepts, theories and debates of and around ‘decolonization’ and ‘development critique’ the Summer School was attempting to confront and question hegemonic narratives and naming the most problematic aspects of growth and development imperatives and promises.
Continue reading “On Creating Spaces of Unlearning”
by Aram Ziai
Throughout human history, human beings have been killed with various legitimations: in the name of religion, in the name of nationalism, in the name of justice and freedom. Whatever the legitimation, it boils down to taking lives of others and feeling justified in doing that. After the deadly attacks of Hamas on unarmed Israeli civilians, a number of people subscribing to postcolonial and decolonial perspectives have been appreciating the violence, calling it “a war of liberation” or claiming “This is what decolonization means”. All the while, the mainstream media seem united in describing it as terrorism and in proving once more that some victims of the conflict in Israel and Palestine are more equal than others. So who is right?
Continue reading “Killing in the name of…”
After discussing the contents of this post, we agreed with the author that they would remain anonymous. Whilst we feel the issues being raised are of importance to elucidating the nature of the challenges with ‘decolonisation’ agendas, well-meaning as they may be, there is a danger that airing views so frankly puts the author in conflict with their colleagues and employers. We agreed that it was important to share these concerns, but that it was also in the interests of the author to remain anonymous.
Higher Education the world over runs on fumes and the goodwill of people committed to expanding horizons, whether their own or those of their students and contemporaries. The number of superstar academics who are cherry-picked by the Harvards or the Oxfords on salaries to match are vanishingly small. Instead we get too-high percentages of precariously employed colleagues working across teaching, research and professional services, many of whom work to prop up a customer-oriented, neoliberal higher education system that may not offer security, but still feels like the best chance to do work that may, in one way or another, be part of helping the world to save it from itself. Continue reading “Unpaid labour in the academy: the limits of neoliberal inclusion”
by Aftab Nasir
To them, I am but,
the skin of a darker shade
the stench of a distant land
a petty scholar’s senseless thoughts
the child of a lesser God
an unsettling memory of some troubled past
Continue reading “Visa Regime”
by Sayan Dey
In 2006, the Ministry of Education in Bhutan launched what is officially known as the Green School System. One of the many purposes of introducing this green education system was to counter the mainstream modern/colonial knowledge systems that are anti-ecological, self-profiting and capitalistic in nature, and to build knowledge systems that are centered on the existential and functional values of the natural environment.
Continue reading “Ecocentric pedagogies and green scholarships: Towards green academia”
A tribe in India is an administrative concept. The tribal identity plays an important part in the claims of around 84 million people in India. ‘Tribe’ as a category historically emerged in the colonial period and was used to describe the communities who did not form a apart of the so-called mainstream Hindu caste society and lived in remote, isolated and forested areas with difficult terrain. The tribal identity plays a crucial role in tribal socio-political movements in different parts of India by consolidating and mobilizing people. Organisations representing these communities unite as adivasis (‘first people’) and claim that they are ‘indigenous’ to India.
Continue reading “POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: The Construction of Tribal Identity in India”
by Shannon King
This paper argues that the plays Les Belles-Soeurs and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing tackle the classism associated with languages, and particularly regional dialects of Canada. The plot of Les Belles-Soeurs is about a housewife who wins a large prize of stamps that can be exchanged for products at certain stores if they are glued into booklets. The housewife Germaine invites the women in her neighbourhood to a get-together where they sit and glue stamps while they chat. Germaine’s neighbours were not fond of doing free labour and stole some stamps for themselves. Dry Lips is about a group of men from a First Nations reservation in Ontario protesting a local women’s hockey league and trying to find their place on the reservation. The plot’s momentum comes from Dickie Bird Halked: an Indigenous young man with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and mutism who commits a violent sexual assault on a woman. When the victim’s fiancé comes to confront Dickie Bird with a gun, Dickie Bird’s father who had been absent his entire life suddenly decides to protect him. These plays are commentary that attempts to decolonize Canadian language, while satirizing, entertaining and giving a sense of self to the country.
This paper will be analyzing the language of marginalized groups versus the hegemonic western European Canada.
Continue reading “POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: Michel Tremblay and Tomson Highway: Decolonizing Dialects and Languages”
by Jeevika Vivekananthan
I have been scribbling words and calling them poems since I was a kid. It is my preferred method to communicate complicated topics and complex emotions that I cannot express or explain otherwise. These days I also create poetry on a mode of reflexivity when I get frustrated by the content I interact with as part of my academic reading and research. In the creative space of poetry, I can position myself in relation to my lived and living experience and reflect on the knowledge I come to interact with, mostly essentialised or reductive, in the form of a concept, theory or evidence. Unlike the nature of typical academic writing, poetry gives me the freedom to interact, relate, reflect, contest and imagine the phenomena of my interest.
Continue reading “Diaspora Humanitarianism- A Poetic Expression”
by Jamie Martin
With global conditions persistently and pervasively shaped by coloniality, systemic racism and violent patriarchy, what does justice mean? How can one seek justice, and where, under such conditions? What does justice feel like for survivors of sexual abuse and violence? How might we attain justice for survivors? Those of us in places shaped by European colonial legal systems have been schooled in white and western models which offer justice as punitive discipline, corporeal punishment, death penalties, oppressive prisons, and further violence or, simply no consequences at all. Such traditional systems for pursuing justice are also often built on the very racism, sexism, and unequal power which one is seeking justice from, leading to questions of whether such systems can really offer us a way forward for reducing harm, improving equity and fairness, and repairing harm already done. As a counter and possible alternative, restorative justice (RJ) offers a space to question, re-think and re-imagine what justice and human relations might look like.
Continue reading “POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: Questioning justice: A feminist reflection on restorative justice and an embrace of both/and”