Category: how-tos

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…

going farther together for peace and sustainability – lvpsc

The Lake Victoria Peace and Sustainability Centre is based on Rusinga Island on Nam Lolwe, the source of the Nile. I visited with this network of organisations on the invitation of Solomon who I met during the Non Violent Communication training I attended last year. The network is made up of about 30 organisations that work on different issues on the island including childrens’ safety, food security, beach maintenance, fishers’…

a proposal to retire the term ‘arab spring’

1. It’s a misnomer that excludes (further). First word, Arab: there are more ethnicities than Arab in North Africa. Hold up, I’ll say that again. North Africa is not made up of Arabs alone. Tuaregs, various Amazigh communities, Nubian communities and many others, all live in North Africa. Some were there before the Arabs. Saying “Arab Spring” manages to disappear all of these people from the record and perpetuate their…

a feminist kitchen? it’s all in the design

According to the Macmillan Dictionary, a kitchen is a room where you prepare and cook food, and wash dishes. The role and meaning of kitchens around the world is more varied and complex than this definition would have one believe, however. Ordering space through design is a key way in which diverse meanings are ascribed to nominally similar space. Design defines what a space is and isn’t, and who is…

senior citizen centre mexico

Besides eating, I also got to reconnect with old friends in Mexico. One of these friends is Manuel Labra who I interviewed for the article on the Mejoramiento Barrial programme that was featured on Polis. He took me to visit another community centre in Coyoacan in Mexico City that caters to and is majorly run by senior citizens. It’s called the Casa del Adulto Mayor y su Familia or Centre…

decolonising in practice- post on brainstorm

This experiment to me represents knowledge revival in two senses. Reviving my grandmother’s knowledge: she herself couldn’t tell me how she processed maize in this way, being bodily gone from this world; but at least I know that she did. In a second sense, this is knowledge rebirth – using beneficial indigenous knowledge from a different place (Mexico) where I am (Kenya). This is the kind of knowledge rebirth or…

design ingredients for sustainable waste management – i

“Urban areas concentrate not only economic and social production, but also waste production. Waste that is often addressed at the end of a long chain of actors- manufacturers, retailers, consumers, disposers, municipal councils, collectors, recyclers. And thus waste’s final destination and the impacts of the same are made invisible. The problem of what to do with waste is externalised by actors along the chain of waste production, an externalisation aided…

at a swap fair in granja viana

Read the version in Portuguese here Issa lives in Granja Viana and is one of the representatives of Transition Granja Viana, an initiative of the worldwide Transition Town movement. According to her, the Swap Fair, also known as the Ecofair, is the biggest success of the Transition GV Group. She told me this while we were driving to her house one Saturday afternoon so we could catch a potluck supper…

what do you do?

What do you do, When you don’t know what to do? Do you write? Do you speak? Do you shout? Do you run? – where to; and will they follow you? What do you do when you get so angry, that you don’t know whether to sit or stand, to cry or to laugh- maniacally? What do you hold on to, when you wonder about your powerlessness- and the power…