Category: political

on searching to find the africa in african studies

When we wrote our open letter to the department of African Studies, hoping to document our collective grievances and open a conversation about how to change and improve the course for future students, we titled it “Searching for the ‘Africa’ in African Studies”. Getting through that course and being able to truly say that one had learnt somethings in African Studies, one had to search. Search beyond the shock of…

“sub-saharan africa” doesn’t exist – drop the scissors

So last year we talked about how there is no such thing as the “Arab spring” – yes? yes. And you cut that out of your vocabulary. Good. I thought we wouldn’t need to have a conversation about how there is no such place as “Sub-Saharan Africa”…. but well, it seems we do, because the rate I keep seeing this term, and with my fellow rads and Africans too……‍ so…

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…

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…

we don’t need the lamu coal plant

I got caught out on this post when the Supreme Court annulled the August election results after I had drafted the post and all…. The annulment [and everything that followed it] resulted in an extra-long election period and collective holding of breath accompanied by lots of intrigues (threats, insults, name callings, arrests…. With all that happening I didn’t feel like I could post this…. Ironically, because I start by talking…

the goldman prize and the just beginning fight against lead poisoning

In late April the 6 regional winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize, also known as the ‘Green Nobel’, were announced. Phyllis Omido, a Kenyan single mother won the $175,000 prize in the Africa region for her 7 year effort to shut down a used lead acid battery (ULAB) recycling factory in the informal settlement of Owino-Uhuru in Mombasa, the largest coastal city in Kenya. Soon after the prize was announced,…

a bogota kiss

I took this picture on my second-last day in Bogotá. I love that the lovers are portrayed as old. The piece is called El Beso de los Invisibles- the Kiss of the Invisibles. It’s based on a photo by a journalist of 2 homeless lovers, Hernán and Diana, living in Bogotá’s ‘Bronx’. It was painted over 6 days by a team of 5 graffiti artists from Colombia & Peru, including…

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…

writing, identities, agency

“No need to heed your voice when I can talk about you better than you can speak about yourself. No need to hear your voice. […] Re-writing you I rewrite myself anew. I am still author, authority. I am still coloniser, the speaking subject, and you are now the centre of my tale.”[i] During my first comparative educational experience while on IHP we were tasked with writing reflections at the…

postcards from lynedoch iv

This will be the last edition of postcards from Lynedoch as I am already in Tanzania. I wanted to write an update of how my last few weeks wrapped up though. I had mentioned the module on Facilitation for Just/Sustainable Transitions that I was going to take- I took it. It was similar to the previous module I had taken on Leadership and Environmental Ethics but at the same time…