Category: earth relations

the memory of seeds and indigenous resurgence in tharaka, kenya

“In the global North, it has become more common to declare that indigenous peoples hold the solutions to the climate crisis. Such rhetoric risks being only lip-service if solutions don’t recognise and resource indigenous-led work to repair damage to indigenous cultures, commit to indigenous resurgence and integrate the wisdom of indigenous values.  After decades of shame, suppression and devaluation, much indigenous knowledge held by groups like the Tharaka has been…

why we should study afrikan history

“Tracing African pasts through the interlinked lenses of agency, possibility and imagination allows us to counter narratives of Africa as a blank slate, to challenge the privileging of whiteness and Europeanness, and to debunk myths about Africans as people who are destructive or unchanging. It allows us to illuminate diverse possibilities of human living to build on, against the hegemony of a present moment that unsees and devalues us. For…

on development (reclaiming naming worlds)

Development is a word and a world, A word from a certain kind of world Building. In an ecosystem of other words (progress, growth, sustainable development, adjustment, reforms, good governance, democracy) That makes a certain kind of world, Built for certain kinds of people Possible. What world? A world of scarcity, Of not enough Lower – on a ladder Behind – in a queue, Slow – in movement, Least –…

reclaiming time + space – what pretty hides #2

I was recently again in London for a brief moment for my graduation. It’s summer and sunny and warm – the best time to be in London because you can be outside for longer periods of time. And yes indeed, summer means picnics, walks in parks, swims in ponds, lunches in parks, games in neighbourhood greens, full outdoors enjoyment of life. So much so that I thought visitors to London…

decolonising the african spirit

“After seven years of being on the journey I can say that I have arrived at several shores of knowing and understanding that I would like to share for anyone else who might be undertaking a similar exploration. Even more however, I have begun to wonder about the silence around African spirituality, and its persistent labelling as sorcery or devilish, an inheritance of missionary colonialism. As a researcher of the…

reimagining, reviving, storytelling: reclaiming

This is a post in which I gush about stories and storytelling. Reading my about page you know one of the things I am about is narratives so buckle up. What’s your favourite story, podcaster Lilly Bekele-Piper asked me in an interview a couple of days before the Reimagined Storytelling Festival. I went with a poem. One of my all time favourite poems, and one I like to perform: “Where…

are we talking about what we are talking about?

We are on our way to Wales for the final section of the GESA programme (written in August 2018*). I was in two minds about coming for this last part of the programme and strongly considered going back to London. Here’s why. Bird, Why are you stuck in the tree Flapping flapping, Wildly beating your wings Against what holds you back, That which we cannot see. Your flaps are getting…

what pretty hides

We have just concluded a few days of an opening retreat designed to have us bond with each other and gently enter the GESA structure and family. As an opening to this, we talked about what we would like to be our group agreements that would allow us to participate, share and learn, both safely and courageously. These included how to show appreciation for what someone is saying while they…

on using the right structures in transformative work – simon mitambo

Are traditions simply a thing of old that are interesting but not relevant to the world we live in today? In my last blogpost for Transition Network I sat down with Simon Mitambo to hear more about how he is using traditional governance structures from his Tharaka community to revive cultural and biological biodiversity, and connecting with other communities doing similar work across Africa. With the organisation he set up,…

on the spirituality of nature – wanjiku mwangi

I had a conversation with my good friend and inspiration, Wanjiku Mwangi about her path to caring for nature and the environment (she doesn’t like this word though, see below). In particular we spoke about the spirituality of nature which is what drives her work with communities to recover their heritage and ecological mores. What is nature to you? When we talk about nature there’s two main parts, the seen…