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”
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.
Continue reading “POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: In Pursuit of Decolonization in Belgium”
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.
Continue reading “POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: Can An African Black Body Think?”
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’.
Continue reading “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 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 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.
Continue reading “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 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.
Continue reading “POLYLOGUES AT THE INTERSECTION(S) SERIES: Looking Back in Anger: Shifting the Grammar of Colonial/Western Pedagogies”
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.
Continue reading “NEW SERIES: Polylogues at the intersection(s) of decolonisation, conviviality and ‘critical diversity’ literacy: (Re-)imagining a ‘good life’”
by Megha Kashyap
As part of a workshop that I recently attended in London, we were asked to bring an object that reflects our teaching or practice. I found it quite hard to just pick one object because almost every object that I have, has a story.
Continue reading “A pair of earrings and the gift of intergenerational feminism”
by Maren Seehawer
The decolonising academia movement came to Norway not in form of student protests, but as a – pretty heated – feuilleton debate between academics. During summer 2018, there was strong disagreement between those for whom the inclusion of multiple voices violates the principle of professionalism and is contrary to the whole idea of academia and those who argue that decolonisation, will bring about more complex and nuanced perspectives about the world and thereby, in fact, lead to more robust knowledge generation. Last year, I was asked by a colleague to teach two classes on this debate in one of my institution’s social science bachelor programmes. As part of my classes, the students discussed whether and, if so, how, coloniality found expression in the courses they attended. From this exercise, it was a short way to reflecting on, and introducing some first tentative changes to, the courses which I am responsible for myself.
Continue reading “To crash or not to crash the canon? Seeking to address coloniality in a one-year social science programme in Norway”
by Adriana Cancar
Recently I read about the “Anthropocene”, which describes a new stage in human history where the driving force for environmental changes is understood to be human activity. Climate change is explained in human and social interference with nature – more specifically in the human and social appropriation of, and intervention in, nature and natural reproduction cycles.
Continue reading “The Anthropocene with its problems and solutions”