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POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: The Construction of Tribal Identity in India

by Vrishali

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.[1]

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POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: Michel Tremblay and Tomson Highway: Decolonizing Dialects and Languages

by Shannon King

Introduction

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.

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Diaspora Humanitarianism- A Poetic Expression

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.

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POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: Questioning justice: A feminist reflection on restorative justice and an embrace of both/and

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.

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POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: In Pursuit of Decolonization in Belgium

Encounters of Creolizing Conviviality in a Context of Critical Diversity Awareness

by Sarah Van Ruyskensvelde and Mieke Berghmans*

From periphery to center: Belgium’s decolonization debate

Over the last decades, the Belgian public has, on many occasions, been confronted with the problematic nature of its colonial past. A secretive activist organization for instance cut of the hand of a King Leopold II monument in Ostend. Media regularly covered the works of a commission of inquiry that investigated the murder on Patrice Lumumba. The debates on Saint Nicholas and Black Pete – a holiday tradition in which Saint Nicholas’ helper is depicted as a blackface stereotype- flew over from the Netherlands to the Belgian public every year, and so on. These events appeared on and disappeared from the media scene and contributed to some public debate about (the effects of) the Belgian colonial period. These discussions however remained at the periphery of the public debate. They touched upon matters that were controversial and contested, but only concerned a specific historical event, a specific institution, or a specific cultural phenomenon and as such did not require a general moral response.

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POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: Can An African Black Body Think?

by Mwaona Nyirongo

Western Science and Black Bodies

The economics of Black bodies has remained one of the saddest stories of humanity. Throughout space and time, Black bodies have been questioned if they are human enough and capable of thinking. These racist engagements have been practiced and preserved even in spaces that claim to embody high human values such as the church and scientific communities. Western science continues to enslave Black minds to propagate the dismemberment of the Black people (Ndlovu-Gatsheni, 2018; Ndlovu-Gatsheni, 2018).  Black bodies continue to be weighed in the economics of bodies and they rank at the bottom of human hierarchy (Nyamnjoh, 2012). No matter how well educated an African Black person is, even if they were schooled at ‘white’ universities and taught by white teachers, they are simply not human enough to harbor scientific thoughts. This paper explains how Western science preserves and practices racism as far as knowledge creation is concerned.

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POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: Political genealogies (m)otherwise: on how we talk in pluridiverse decolonial ways, with threads of our own making and held in/as our own territories

by Sara C. Motta

Whiteness is the sea not the shark: it is the very onto-epistemological embodied and aesthetic grounds of (im)possibility of our becoming human as racialised and feminised peoples in the current matrix of Power and Institutions/ality. As Sara Ahmed (2007, 150) foregrounds ‘it is what coheres the [modern/colonial]world’.

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POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: (Re)imagining a ‘Good Life’ as a Settler Scholar: How Can We Decolonize and Indigenize European Studies through Indigenous Storywork?

by Markus Hallensleben

Being aware that colonization is still ongoing, with my very own presence as a white, privileged settler on the Indigenous lands of the Coast Salish people[1] perpetuating the problem, I have begun to reframe my own teaching and research in literary and cultural studies by decentering discourses of Eurocentric identity and diversity politics. What might be more fruitful instead of taking decolonialization just as a metaphor (Tuck/Yang 2012) within a solely academic social justice approach (Pluckrose/Lindsay 2020), could be an interactive and relational method of knowledge sharing (Baldy 2015; Christensen et al. 2018; Ladner 2018; Smith/Thorson 2019; Watchman et al. 2019) that aims to create an allyship built on reciprocal, responsible, relevant and respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples, their stories and their lands (Kirkness/Barnhardt 1991). Rather than reiterating Eurocentric notions of artwork, authorship, culture, education, text, literature, media, theatre, society and politics, I am looking at Indigenous “Storywork” (Archibald 2008; Archibald et al. 2019) as a collaborative narrative approach to decolonizing knowledge transfer within European Studies.

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POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: Looking Back in Anger: Shifting the Grammar of Colonial/Western Pedagogies

by Sayan Dey

In “On Being Truly Educated” (2015) Noam Chomsky argues that “it is not important what we cover in the class, but what we discover in the class to be truly educated”. Etymologically, the word ‘education’ has originated from the Latin word ‘educare’, which can be interpreted as ‘to bring up’, ‘to rear’, and ‘to lead’. In other words, one of the major purposes of education is to nurture and create able leaders in a society, who would be able to contribute holistically, de-hierarchically, and diversely towards sustainability of life. But, as we look into the general scenario of education systems across the globe we see a highly contradictory and disappointing picture.

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NEW SERIES: Polylogues at the intersection(s) of decolonisation, conviviality and ‘critical diversity’ literacy: (Re-)imagining a ‘good life’

The series is edited by Sayan Dey, with support by Kudzaiishe Vanyoro, Aftab Nasir, Lata Narayanaswamy and Julia Schöneberg

The Oxfam Inequality Report is a yearly reminder of the pervasiveness and depth of embedded injustices and inequalities in our daily lives. Colonial trajectories continue to shape contemporary tendencies to universalise the constitutive elements of a ‘good life’, encapsulated in global goals such as the SDGs. The resultant erasure denies other social and political imaginaries, other ways of knowing and understanding the world; as the Zapatista say, ‘a world of many worlds’, wherein we collectively create pluriversal spaces to flourish.

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